She cannot be beaten and yet she doesn’t fight, she isn’t there and yet she’s omnipresent, a dagger in the heart where there was joy and last but not least she’s weak but all powerful so you may as well pick up your little sack of toys and go home.
Who am I talking about? The ex wife. And no I’m not trying to be uncharitable. It’s just the way I’ve seen it. Of the last three men I’ve been involved with, every time I’ve played my cards I’ve been trumped by the ex. Granted these men have been hurt by their wives but somehow two years plus down the line they are still holding an ever burning candle. In fact Mr.Twisted, who as you know stuck the knife into me good last year, actually told me that I couldn’t have his heart because it was hers. And even though he knows deep down she’s not coming back he’s resigned himself to an impenetrable solitude.
It’s happened to me again recently and I can’t get my head around it. Sadly I have no way of knowing that they haven’t healed until it’s way too late for me and my poor brave little heart sitting as it is proud on my sleeve. But how can I compete with a woman who has transcended into a ghost of perfection? Who embodies all that was good and golden in the beginning when they were green? These women have moved on with their lives and left their men trampled in their path. But try as I might I can’t help them pick up the pieces, like Dorothy’s companions in the Wizard of Oz they’ve lost their hearts, brains and courage and they push and shove me away all the better for not seeing or dealing. Because you see it’s not fearless, bright and cheery Dorothy they want, it’s the Wicked Witch of the West who broke them in the first place. Life is sick isn’t it?
And meanwhile I’m way down the Yellow Brick Road having done my relationship grieving and I’m ready for my new chapter, I’m so ready I’m positively overflowing with love. But I don’t have a companion to share it with except for my own two, fluffy Totos. Just sometimes I really do wish I could click my heels three times and make the Wicked Witch melt, fix them and live happily ever after. But it seems the universe has a different plan for me, the seemingly never ending journey of singledom and I don’t mind admitting I’m getting really, really tired of walking it alone, but I guess I’ll just keep putting one red sequinned shoe in front of the other, at least do it in nice heels eh Dorothy?
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, a rare thing in these image obsessed times. But that’s half the problem with online dating how can you tell if you’re looking at the cover or just the dust jacket?
Early last year I met a funny, cheeky fellow online who had a fairly nondescript profile with a couple of pictures of a smiling, pleasant looking guy. We chatted for a while and had a laugh so I agreed to go for a drink with him.
I turned up at the bar and did a quick sweep, couldn’t see him anywhere? Strange. Then a man who had his back to me turned around and with a beaming smile waved me over. A ripple of shock ran through me as I realised that the completely bald and shiny headed person waving at me was the very same cheeky chappie who wore a beanie and a baseball cap in his profile pictures. Aha! All the pieces fell into place.
I have to admit I did have a mini panic attack but that was mainly because I wasn’t ready for well….. so much bare skin to be on show! But I didn’t run away, I joined him at the bar and we chatted away merrily. In fact a lot of his jokes were aimed at his baldness as he told me he once worked for a company called Brush, oh the irony he chuckled as he massaged his head! We swapped bad date stories and cracked up laughing at the ridiculousness of dating at this age. I got to my two drink limit and made my excuses to go, but we were getting on like a house on fire so with some gentle persuasion I stayed for more drinks, then a live band and then dancing.
I laughed and laughed that night till my sides hurt. There was no physical chemistry but he was hilarious and great fun to be with, like a good male friend. I never picked up the threads after that night and we meandered off on our separate ways, but we met up 6 months on for a catch up drink and to compare notes on swimming in the dating pool. He was the same jolly fellow but a bit jaded with the dating game, like me.
I guess sometimes it’s refreshing to meet someone who perhaps for whatever reason doesn’t look like your ideal or type but who will surprise and delight you with their inner self. There’s something to be said about being open to people and having the right attitude in life to all the little obstacles it throws us. I hope he’s found his special lady and is beaming his shiny, happy aura on them both.
Time to dip into the vault and pull out and oldie but goldie that highlights what happens when stalking goes bad.
After my other significant relationship bombed when I was 24 I saw a charming chappie at a bar one night and rather took a shine to him. So after chucking back a few white wine spritzers (hey it was the nineties ladies!) I started to chat him up, he seemed quite taken aback that I was even interested (he had self-esteem issues). I gave him my number before disappearing into the night hopefully in a mysterious and alluring fashion.
He called up the next day and in between asking me out for dinner again stated that he was surprised that I’d noticed him. He was a good looking chap so I thought he was being facetious. So off we went for a rather ho hum dinner at a swanky bistro. He looked nice but when he opened his mouth he said the strangest things. For starters he told me with a knowing wink that his mother had told him he would know for sure when he met the love of his life. Then he told me that he insisted his wife would stay at home, not work and bring up the kids. Again he engaged me in a meaningful stare. Long story short I didn’t call back after the date. I told him I didn’t think it would work for us chalk and cheese etc. He needed a nice girl not me.
And that’s how my own personal fan club of one started. To begin with he would follow me and my friends round town and deliberately walk slowly past the cafe window where we were sitting, then he got into the habit of turning up at my work demanding to see me and then following me home in his car. Naturally I was spooked. But the best was yet to come.
One night lying in bed I heard a sound outside my bedroom window and then a crash and a moan. I sent my Mum’s partner downstairs to look and it turns out in an attempt to get to my bedroom he’d climbed up the kitchen extension but had stupidly used a wheelie bin to stand on and of course it rolled away. He fell and broke his ankle. My Mum wanted me to go out and comfort him until the ambulance arrived but I was adamant I was not going to encourage him. Cold hearted bitch that I am!
Eventually though my niceness did get the better of me and I called and arranged to pop round and see him and take him a conciliatory box of chocolates, I turned up and walked into his kitchen and despite hobbling around with his foot in a cast he’d cooked us a full blown three course dinner with single red rose – would I stay? Hell no!
The final straw came when he was back on his feet again and he got wind that I was moving to London, he turned up at my doorstep with flowers and a card. I talked to him on the doorstep and he begged me to stay tears running down his face, “I don’t even know you!” I said. It was clear I wasn’t getting through so I shoved the flowers back at him, tore up the card and threw it on the floor. It’s the only time in my life I have ever been really, really mean to someone but I was convinced this guy was going to end up hurting me if I didn’t drive the message home forcefully.
Luckily it worked and I didn’t see him again lurking on corners or creeping round the back of my house, but I do always wonder if he found his little wife and is living somewhere happily ever after. I’m just glad I painted myself out of that little cameo.