Do you ever just sit back and wonder (while drinking wine), what is the point? I find myself doing this a lot lately. Not just the wine drinking, but pondering the meaning of my life. More specifically, I think about the amount of dates, relationships and natural disasters I have encountered as an adult. Let's be honest, anything before the legal drinking age just doesn't count. I like to think that I am wiser and more aware of the bullshit after each failure but somehow one seems to slip right by me. Then after a series of emotions, dates, energy and sex, I remember why I should've stayed single. The best foot forward mysteriously goes back to its original starting position and I learn that Mr. Wonderful is just Mr. Wolf in sheep's clothing. So naturally I tell myself to stay single because the players change but the game does not.
While on this trajectory of self discovery, I think I've finally realized why I go through this over and over again. (I'm entering the deep end of the pool so strap on some water wings and fill that glass.) At the end of the day, we all want to matter. We want to be loved. We want to feel supported. Bottom line is that we just want to feel like our lives mean something. It isn't just the wine talking, I am going somewhere with this. Trust me.
My last relationship was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made in my adult dating life. I can't stand when people say that there are no regrets, no mistakes but only lessons. I call bullshit. My last one was nothing but a big fat heifer of a mistake. This lad, Mike, was younger than me and knew exactly the way into my life. He used a hefty dose of flattery, showed a need for me, told me everything I wanted to hear and most of all, he made me laugh. His story was that he was leaving his current girlfriend who he lived with bla bla bla so I was merely just his friend at first. Then after he left her, we started seeing each other. I felt like I had met a best friend and boyfriend all in one. Not to mention he was also in the entertainment business. So what could be wrong with this scenario? Two words: RED FLAGS!
Sweet mother, I need to grab the bottle before I go any deeper into this! I suggest you do the same because as they say, shit is about to get real.
Mike rented a room from a family member since leaving his ex and while I was there one night in his living room waiting to go out to dinner, he handed me his phone to show me a photo. A text popped up from a girl saying "Hey hey sweetheart." Immediately I asked who she was and he said that it was one of the girls he used to hook up with online and then said he will reply letting her know he has a girlfriend now and wouldn't be appropriate to hookup/chat anymore. She replied with a brief response that was sort of like a "Fuck you". In my mind I thought he squashed it, no big deal. So we moved on from it. As things progressed, we took a trip out of town together to enjoy some snow and catch a play. That evening in the hotel room, we had taken in too much wine and after a romp in the sack, we laid there talking. It was more like a question and answer session. He asked a deep question about myself then I would reciprocate. Somehow, the conversation turned into him telling me that he had once received a blow job from another man. (That flag is a waving) A gay friend who is married in fact. Needless to say, my reaction was not savory. I was shocked and immediately asked if he was gay, bi or going to do it again. He got very angry at my reaction and stomped around the room like a child having a tantrum. He then got into the other bed and said that he shouldn't have said anything and expected me to be more kind and supportive about it. Oh and the kicker is that he did this in his ex girlfriends living room while she was at work. Needless to say, the ride home the following day was awkward. I asked him why he did it. He said he was hanging with "said friend" and the friend said he could see that Mike was "big" through his shorts and wanted to see for himself. So naturally Mike showed him (why wouldn't you show off your penis to a gay friend) and then one thing lead to another and wouldn't you know it, his friend just started giving him head. While telling me this, I could tell he was very embarrassed and I just somehow told myself that maybe it's like when you experiment in college. He didn't go to college, so maybe that was his "moment". Okay, conversation over and time to move on. No no no, not so fast. The next week he didn't call, text or have much to say if I initiated conversation. Finally he said that he was mad that I was judgemental and acted shocked. Somehow we moved passed it and all was well.
As time went on, things were going great. We did everything together. We shared great nights out with our friends, attended events and did acting gigs together. I helped get him booked as well as introduced him to a lot of my contacts in the business which in turn, got him a lot more work in film. He was going on a trip to spend a week with friends in Chicago and decided the night before he left, he wanted me to meet his mother. BOOM! Big moment right? His mom was his world and he took me to meet her. It went great. During the evening, she was on her laptop showing me old pics of Mikey and with her Facebook open, she received a friend request from a girl who knew Mike. His mom pipes up asking why she keeps hounding her and who is she?? Our little boy looked like a deer caught in headlights. Bright eyed and stunted, he explained that she was an old friend and was always bothering him and to ignore her. That wonderful female instinct kicked in telling me that there was something more to the story. So I took a mental picture of her name and later in the evening while on the couch watching TV, I looked her up online. I found her public page on Instagram and there were all these posts depicting love for someone and then the one posted that night was something about how loving someone who ignores you is painful or some crap like that. That clever girl used a hashtag with his name in it. Oh but wait, looking back at all these love quotes, his name is always used in them. Well shit! I felt myself turning a brilliant shade of red (sort of like Merlot) and getting so upset that I could barely breathe. While cheater is blissfully watching some crap show about food (the usual viewing in his home) he must've caught wind of my onset of anxiety and anger as I was typing a comment on this girls latest post about "being ignored." I simply wrote, "I'm sorry he is ignoring you but we were busy fucking." Then I looked up from my phone and yelled out, "WHO THE HELL IS THIS???" Remember that deer in headlights look I mentioned from earlier in the evening? Well this time it was the deer in headlights then struck by a very large vehicle expression. He started asking questions about how did I know her and what did I know etc... He kept demanding to give him my phone. I said I knew that they were sleeping together and he was disgusting and I was out. I stormed out of his house in a rage and somewhere between the front door and my car, I threw my big full bottle of water at him. He followed me trying to explain that she was someone he also saw while he and I first dated and she was still attached. I knew there was a lot of garbage to that explanation and I continued to scream at him demanding he tell me the truth. He finally admitted that they had slept together while we were together. So I left and told him to go to hell. While he was in Chicago, I took off to California and spent a few days at the beach. Sand, wine and tears filled with anger. I came home and a few days later, I received a text in the middle of the night. Mike had written me a long apology and poem via text while he was still away. We spoke the next day and I agreed to hear him out when he returned. There it was, my moment of weakness. Truth was, I missed my friend. I missed the one who I spent nearly everyday with and enjoyed my life with so I thought it wouldn't hurt to sit and talk. WRONG! He suckered me right back in. We agreed to a fresh start and to put it behind us. Yep, I was an idiot. I own that.
Sorry, that bottle went fast! Must pop open another... hold please.
Needless to say, that new start proved to be the way to go. We got closer and seemed to be happier than ever. Even I was sickened by how "cute" we were. He ended up losing his full time job and couldn't stay at his uncles house anymore so I took him in. I realized while spending our lives together under the same roof that he was always on his phone. I mean ALWAYS. So I did what any good spy, I mean girlfriend, would do. I pretended to act interested in what he was constantly doing. He showed me his Instagram and then I took the phone and looked at what sort of people he followed. They were all bodybuilders, gym buffs and men in general. Red Flag! I asked if he knew these people and he said no but it was motivation to get really fit. Wait, what is that? Oh it's that familiar smell of feces from a bull. This only made my suspicions to grow and so while he would shower and leave his phone unattended, I would dig into his life. I found many texts from his blow job buddy Alan, wanting to meet and connect. I found emails where he was responding to ads online for male escorts for a men for men only service. I found photos of women with penises. I also discovered his Skype account where he talks to men. He would jerk off with them online then agree to meet up with them in person. RED FLAG! No wait, that was more like me holding the red cape while facing a bull in an arena. I basically discovered a life that I didn't know existed that belonged to a guy I was sharing my life with. I stayed quiet for the day (due to shock) and then that evening on our way to dinner, I asked to stop by the park and let's sit and talk. We did just that. I wanted to flip out. I wanted to blurt out my discoveries. I wanted to kick him in the dick. Instead, I calmly asked him if there were things going on in his life that I should know. He said no. I asked if he still spoke to or saw Alan. He said that they were friends but that's it. Okay, this was going nowhere. We left and I was suddenly faced with shock, sadness and the dilemma of what to do and how to do it. I couldn't keep this up anymore. The next morning I got up early for work, got dressed and when I went to leave, he woke up and insisted on kissing me goodbye. What he didn't know was that I was crying the entire morning. During that afternoon I called him and he was at my home on the internet. I asked if he was online looking for work and he said not yet. I snapped. Him being on the internet must've been Skype sexing, jerking off to chicks with dicks or searching for a way to make money by looking at naked men. I told him to pack up and I was on my way home. I arrived and we went at it. I called him every name in the book and said that he was a homo and needed to get the hell out of my life. That didn't go well. He got physical and thought it was a good idea to punish me for the way I was now treating him. There was smacking, yelling, bending me over and trying to take charge of a situation that he had lost all control of. He left. He took his things and walked out. Needless to say, I was struck by that bull after all.
After many nights that ended in Xanax and wine, I picked myself up and moved on. While away for work one week, my phone kept ringing and it was his mother. I finally picked up only to hear her yelling at me to put her son on the phone. I laughed and asked what she was talking about. She swore up and down that he was with me and I assured her that I was nowhere near him nor would I be. She said he had gone missing. She begged me to help her find him as she was worried. So I made a few calls and thought to call the hospital closest to his house. Sure enough, they said he had just been discharged and because of the sensitive nature, that's all they could say. Turns out, the idiot tried to kill himself (on my birthday) and didn't succeed. A small part of me was sad but the bigger part of me was pissed off. I called his mother back and told her. She flipped her lid and wanted to know if I was lying and what happened. All she knew is I kicked him out and left him with nothing. Of course that's what he told her! So now I am a very unhappy camper and decide to spill it. I told her everything. She cried and kept screaming that her only child couldn't be gay and how she wants to be a Grandmother one day. I had enough and wanted out of this mess so I said I was hanging up and would send her copies of texts between him and I where he admits to the abuse, the homosexual behavior and why it ended. D O N E. His dirt was off of my hands. I told her to go help her son and please leave me out of it. That was it. Happy Birthday to me. I went back to my hotel, got boozed up and sat in the hot tub. I met a lovely young guy while baking in the giant tub who was a gay male prostitute and serviced his Orange County clients at that hotel. Okay, party over and back to room I went.
Post birthday debacle, I spent many days and nights wondering how I could've been so stupid. How could I be so blind and let this happen under my nose? How could I be so happy and it turned out to be a lie? Was he just using me to help with money, career and at the end, a place to live? Was he that desperate to take advantage of my heart? Was I that desperate to feel loved and happy? One day I was sitting in the park near my house with my beloved dog who was happily chasing her Frisbee and it hit me (a revelation not the Frisbee). I could literally feel the weight of the answer cover me like a blanket. It wasn't any of those things. It was me. I liked the feeling of being needed. I liked the joy I got out of spending my time with my best friend and lover. I adored the simple affection like a kiss on the forehead or squeezing my hand in the car. I loved that someone listened to me and showed interest in my life. Overall, I was happy with feeling that I mattered. Somehow I equated the relationship with being validated. Truth be told, I was always laboring under the idea that he was being dishonest. Since I found out about his exploratory tryst the year before, I was always suspicious but talked myself out of it in exchange for comfort I had and the smile I kept finding on my face.
So what the fuck is my point? What am I going on about exactly? It is so simple. We get into relationships and fight for them when we know they are headed straight off a cliff. We strap ourselves into the car and ride along watching the dead end sign approach us but we don't get out. We do it because in that car, we aren't alone. We matter. We feel like we found our other half, our missing piece. It's that thing that makes us feel whole. Now that this happened, I have sorted out that I was never needing my other half because I am not a half. All this time spent alone has made me realize that I am whole and it isn't an unhealthy relationship that validates my life. I have to make my own life matter. So I go on and love those who love me, albeit the list is quite short, but the most important thing I do is learn how to continue to love myself (and wine). I am a work in progress, hell we all are, but now that I know that a relationship won't validate my life, I am happy. Sure it gets lonely at times and no dates to accompany me to a wedding or a movie, but I am investing in myself. When the time is right, I will meet someone who looking for and can appreciate the woman who loves herself, confident and honest with who she is and what she deserves. If I want flowers right now, I will buy them. If I want to see a film at the theater, I just go. I am simply not a half because I go alone.
Okay so you might say that I have contradicted myself in saying that mistakes aren't lessons, but the truth is, Mike was a Titanic sized mistake. I am learning more about myself, people, relationships, friends, family and what matters. I won't attribute that to his sorry confused lying ass, no. I take the credit for realizing that my life is merely validated by my own heart and what I give.
So order the dessert, dance like a fool regardless of who is watching, explore, laugh, be honest, love and most importantly, never drink stale wine.
Oh and if you thought Mr. Charming pants couldn't get worse...wrong! Turns out he knocked up Ms. Lonely Heart of Instagram while we were together.