Chapter 57 – Who I Am?

 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016.

 

Dichotomy.

 

Not the sun – just thy moon?

I’m a lover – I’m beloved.

I am fun, I am old.

Woman, sister, mom and daughter,

I am scared, I am bold.

 

 

I’m not bitter, I am sweet!

I’m a lady,

Bittersweet.

I’m determined, I am flawed,

I am awed by thee.

 

I’m his Ex, I am deep,

I am active, I’m asleep.

I am happy, ugly, heavy.

I just want to leave.

 

I am light, I am dark,

I am gracious, I am marred.

I’m a birdie, I am barred.

I am patient, restless, pretty –

Just thy wild card.

 

North and south,

Kind and blind.

Just a girl,

I’m a friend.

I’m just tired –

I will end.

 

I am loyal, I betray:

I’m a sinner, I’m a saint –

I’m forgiving, I’m forgiven,

Though now drained.

 

Hot and cold (not really)

I’m a teacher, so silly!

I’m a playful mystery…

I am strong, I give up,

Direly need thy hugs.

 

I am human – there you go.

You won’t judge me,

So I’m told.

 

I am crazy, I am biased.

Fired up,

Wise, wired and hooked.

I am Tinderella Anna.

I’m thy secret, open book.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 59 of who am I’s?

 

 

Chapter 56 – Uh-Tinder Date #13

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016.

 

Still Day 58

 

The Canadian and Anna sit at a café in Ruoholahti and try to chat. She is good with words and can talk to just about anybody about a thousand things, but somehow it feels these two have nothing to say to each other.

Real awkward silences fill their uh-awkward attempts.

They sip their tea and look around.

 

Uh… he looked a little chubbier in his pictures and where has his lovely beard disappeared to? Hmm.

This thin man’s face is clean-shaved. Are they even one and the same guy? Haha.

He tells her his daughter and his motorbike live in England. Uh… He himself owns a business in Hakaniemi. Uh… Would she like to ride his motorbike back from England with him.

Uh… Not sure! Well, at least we wouldn’t have to chat.

Uh… would she like to go to the movies with him after his England trip?

“Uh… Maybe, let’s see.”

 

Even looking at each other feels oddly awkward. Uh… Maybe Anna’s just sleepy and not feeling like her normal self today. She’s too much inside her mind, too little in her heart?

He seems like a perfectly nice guy – minus the sparks. Where are the sparks? Where are the sparks?

Finnair-flying here from Germany soon?

Ding! Fingers crossed, fingers crossed.

 

After she thanks him and leaves, she sits in her car in Citymarket’s parking lot and thinks about everything.

Ah, it’s kind of cool to go on all these dates. (I don’t know where people get the idea that Tinder is promiscuous. Well, I guess it depends on how one uses it)… Meeting new people and finding out who’s out there…

People are curiously fascinating. Ha! It’s like conducting my own field work in social studies/divorce-and-back-to-dating-near-your-forties research.

Well, as long as there’s respect and honesty, no waste of time.

Humpf.

#12 was a waste!

 

She reads Christian’s messages and then calls her mom.

 

18:33   Hello! Been in bed all day. 😊 Just got up. Feeling a bit better, thankfully! Plenty of water, hot drinks and paracetamol for me tonight. Hope you had a nice day.

Thanks for the pictures. I love Helsinki. It’s the perfect-sized city – you can walk everywhere. Never seen that cottage though. Love nature. Especially covered in snow! 😊

18:43   😊😊 Calling my mom now. Maybe I’ll talk to you later?

 

“So… how have this week’s dates been going?” Riittaa inquires happily even before saying hello.

Come to think of it, mom hardly ever says hello – jumping right into the matter at hand.

“Oh, mom. So interesting! Blah, blah, blah…

“…But I can’t help but feel quite excited with the Englishman I’m going to meet on Sunday. He seems to be well-mannered and smart. But not in a boring way… Blah, Blah….

“You know, today I told him I don’t know if I’m ready for dating yet. And he had such a respectful, mature response. Blah, blah…

“He’s always like that. Blah, blah, haha.”

“Yeah, I have a good feeling about this Englishman, too.” Riitta is a woman of straight-to-the-point-just-the-necessary amount of words.

Quite a character – I just love her – funny and devoted and 100% her sui-generis self.

“Though he sent a horrible selfie today! Haha. But I don’t care. All the men I’ve met so far have turned out to be quite different in person, anyway.”

10 years older, 10 kg heavier, 10kg thinner, no beard, no smiles, no normal eye-to-eye contact, nicer clothes, shorter, you name it. 

“I’m starting to think this gender is just not into their looks – to them, the world of selfies is from another universe – at least the men from my generation.”

“Yeah, meet him in person and then you’ll see.” mama agrees.

.

,
21:01   Hello. Cough cough splutter. 😊  Hope you are keeping healthy. Maybe I should have been a teacher and eaten lots of apples?? I went back to bed. This is my first cold in ages. Hopefully a long sleep and I’ll be back to normal.

Hope you had a nice call with your mum. Does she live nearby? Wish I had the energy to write act III of that story we started. The cottage gave me some good ideas.

And your nice pictures. 😊

21:21   Hi, yes. I had a great chat with mom. She lives in Tampere, about 180km from here. Comes to Helsinki once a month. Dad, less often.

So sorry you’re feeling worse. 🤒🤧  Just stay in bed from now till Sunday morning and you should feel better. 😊

Unless you need antibiotics. Sometimes it’s good to check that it’s not angina, right? Look into your throat and see if there are any white spots around. If there are, you’re only getting better on meds.

21:27   Happy you liked Helsinki! And it’s not even my favorite city in Finland… Tampere, Oulu and Jyväskylä are better in some ways.

21:31   I hope you’re sleeping to recover. And if you do recover enough to come to Helsinki…

…we can just play a game at my place – do something non-tiring. Maybe I’ll let you lie under a cover to watch a movie and just take it easy. Let’s see.

21:36   Ahhh, that’s very kind. I am very much looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll be fit and well by then. 😊  Movie, games. Sounds like a good day! Nice and relaxing.

22:02   😊

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

 

Obs. End of Day 58 feeling curious and reassured.

 

 

Chapter 35 – Saturday Blues

 

Saturday, 6 February 2016.

 

Day 48

 

Morning comes and she’s feeling blue. Anna just needs some answers.

 

Who am I??

                              What do I want now?

What am I seeking?

Why am I doing this again??

Yes, why?

What the heck is the hurry, huh??

            What is wrong with you, stupid Anna???

 

Tears are rolling down like a river, as she lies in the darkness of her bed.

 

She calls Mr. Ex.

Not concerning their past marriage, no!

I hang on to people, but then when I move on, I really move on.

Not concerning him. Just about herself. Who am I? What’s going on?

Pedro and Anna have spent over half her life together. He may not love her as his wife anymore, but she knows he cares about her as her best friend and the mother of his children. She has no doubt that he wishes her well, too.

Just not with him.

He listens in no hurry, feels her pain, comforts her. Tells her it will be alright. Talking with him is so easy.

 

She feels better.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 48 since moving out of Mr. Ex’s home – their last home together.

 

 

Chapter 31 – Nothing Much

 

Thursday, 4 February, 2016.

 

Still Day 46

 

Nothing much.

It’s 6 p.m. that very same evening. An uneventful evening, it turns out.

We’re too different. Apparently he needs to sleep early and I go to bed late…?

Anna’s looking pretty as she turns the key and enters her flat – soaring with stonewalled energy and frustrating expectations.

 🎵 I was going out tonight, still feeling alright…🎶

OK, I practiced some dating skills. Not a complete waste of my time, then… An OK guy – this Riku.

 

Yes, it’s been only a month of Tindering and she’s already been on 8 dates.

Forty-six days since moving out, since the separation. Hmm… Out of their last home together… It’s just Mr. Ex’s now. And the teens’.

And God knows who else’s?

Oh, cringe!

Hurtful bleeding bloody ouch.

 

Stop.

That’s a ridiculous understatement.

Grotesque.

 

How about this?

From last June to January, Anna has at times felt lunged at, knocked down, assaulted by fate. Stabbed with a knife that life has “thrust, jabbed and skewered” her lovable heart with – until near death.

Sigh. She knows she’s not a victim, and takes responsibility over her choices, mistakes and actions…

Still, I can’t help how I feel!

 

Well, I’ll tell you this. If you ever find yourself in this same predicament, there’s just one thing you should do. One.

Forgive.

Now.

Full stop. Categorically.

Move on. Just move on.

Bless him; wish him well – you won’t regret it. For the teens. Co-parent like Mary Poppins would.

Don’t you dare dwell on loss. Onward march! You deserve it. Be really happy. Abundantly. Survive at all costs. Stay resilient. Think selfishly of yourself too, now. Have loads of fun. As much as you can. Look at the bright side, at all the perks. Raise that dopamine, but be safe. Don’t be alone. DO NOT ISOLATE YOUR SOUL. Hug all your friends and relatives. Let them splash their affection over you. Take care of your kids. Love them with all your being. Let the tears roll down sometimes. But laugh out loud much, much more. Infinitely more. Watch lots of comedies. New hobbies? More volleyball please. More jogging. New friends? Please, maybe find a good guy. Believe he’s out there. Someone who wants you, sees you. A nice person. A powerful healing embrace. Chemistry. Just do it, come on. Postpone the frightening mourning, the deathly grief. Don’t you feel lonely tonight.

Quick!

Urgently Suffer Later.

L-a-t-e-r.

When you’re stronger.

That’s what Anna’s doing, anyways.

And the only way to go if you’re sane.

 

Sigh.

This whole separation thing is so very recent.

Deep in her heart, Anna has no doubt – whatsoever – that it’s for the best. The very fairy best.

It will most certainly turn out to be a super clear, mega blessing in disguise – eventually. There were just too many things they couldn’t take anymore. Betrayal. No attraction. No romance. Twenty more years of friendship? Nobody deserves that. To please society, the church?? Don’t you want more?

Honesty!

Honestly…

One

Life

To

Live.

They were over each other. They lost faith?

 

It’s not that…

So, what is it, then?

What is there to be sad about? Why can’t Anna just enjoy a peaceful pleasant home-alone Thursday evening? “Read a book, relax!”

 

Well, fathom this for a second.

I can’t!

Your recent home – now previous…. The place where your teens are spending this very evening with their father… The place that you’ve recently redecorated in style and with the loving work of your hands…

Where you hung the curtains you’d just sewed… The place you cleaned and decorated for Christmas just fifty days ago…

The place where your youngest child is probably devastated, hurting, missing you – feeling “Where the heck is mom and why isn’t she here?” …Trying to be brave to pull through… The place your own family lives without you two weeks a month…

Oh my God.

After two decades of making a house a home – with love, with passion. With joy. And lots of human imperfection… History.

That place…

…Is a place where you’re no longer expected. You’re not really welcome there anymore.

 

So… nothing much.

Just that.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Still day 46 since moving out.

 

 

Chapter 22 – Tinder Date #7

 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016. –> And we’re back to the past.

 

Day 44

 

Diary Dear,

My quest goes on in the treacherous seas of the Isle of Tinder-Cinders.

When I arrive at the Little Big Café, André is almost done munching his croissant and gulping away. I smile as I walk up to him. Holding up two fingers, he complains I’m 2 minutes late. ✌️

Cool guy.

He asks me if I’d like coffee and when I nod, he adds, “Go buy one then”.

 

His pics on Tinder are quite nice. Suit and all. How come he went to bed in old clothes, got up, slipped his feet into no-lace boots, put on his oldest winter coat (nothing’s matching), and came to meet me on a bad-hair day?

Hmmm.

I know I can just dump him, but humor him like I did. If nothing else, stories to tell my grand-kids one day?

He then proceeds to chatter: 20 minutes on global warming. According to him, the firm he owns is building huge projects in Vantaa, but – he protests – what’s the use of it if all Africa is going to invade Europe by the millions?

Anyway, fifteen minutes, that’s it – no more – and we leave. His SUV is parked outside and he commands, “Get in the car. I’ll take you home now.”

“No thanks!” — and know that I’ve had my first nutjob date.


 

Diary…!

Mom called from Tampere this afternoon to check up on me. I shared a little, mentioned Ex and Newbie’s Bahamas pics on FB. What a pain……..

“Anna, I don’t understand how come you’re so calm. Why don’t you hate him?? It’s been really hard on us, your father and me.”

“Really, mom? Oh no! I understand. I know…

“But you’re the one who did all those daily devotionals with us kids. Reading the whole Bible, cover to cover. You had us memorize those verses about not judging others, loving your neighbor… Forgiving 70×7. Ring any bells?

“Remember the little song you made out of that verse for us to sing: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yes do!’

“Your fault, mom. And… Thanks.☺️” — I really am deeply grateful. Mom has always been incredible. A Rock and a steadfast friend.

“Yes, but…”

 

We change subjects and I tell her the hot gossip. You know. Tinder, me. The whole concept had to be explained to her.

Her reaction? Out of the roof. Haha. She wants date updates. 😄

We agreed not to tell dad just yet. Don’t think he’d approve…


 

As for other news… the teens are fine. With their father this week, so I have another date booked. 😆

#incorrigibleme

The guy looks good in his photos – like a Norwegian god. Bold smile. Blond, nicely trimmed beard. His pics are artistic, cropped to show only half his face.

His chats are a bit slow, though. IT engineer. Nokia.

Talking of which, the Englishman (Christian) has been writing avidly. As wonderfully as ever. Is he really visiting Finland this month, you think?

Ah, come on doubting Thomas… sooner or later I’ll have to score. I’ve got enough match cards up my sleeve. I just know it. 

Get me a winning ticket, will you? Please.

God…?

 

For now, it seems so hard — but super fun!

What’s the recipe, I wonder. What are the ingredients??

Need will have to meet opportunity. Curiosity will have to match with excitement. Will opposites attract? Hormones (and my cycle week) will have to be just right.

Desire, connection, chemistry, mystery, fun, wonder, imagination, calendars, moods, emotional baggage, positivity, a little flirting, openness, a light touch, genuine interest, butterflies, chance, courage, holding back, a little craziness, a little doubt, subtle signs, peaks to be climbed? It’s like the planets will have to align.

Impossible? Unlikely?

Yet, in every country, city and village, in the remotest places in the world, people (still) find love and passion every day. Since the beginning of times… Now through applications, perhaps? 🤔

That’s just the nature of things. Love Actually.

Love is in the air. Everywhere. 

If even Mr. Ex has found it with Ms. Newbie…

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 44 since moving out.

Chapter 21A – Anniversary

I’ve admitted it, there you go.

It’s very hard to please me with good gifts because what I want is actually the hard stuff: I want you to really care and to show that both in words and action.

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017.

 

Day – Does it Matter? Love stops time.

 

It’s our one-year anniversary and he’s promised to call a little later.

Anna is looking out the window of the cottage she adores so much. The sun appeared from behind the heavy clouds just now, as if to celebrate their special occasion. Its rays are resting over the cleanest of snows. And when you live in Finland, you value each second of sunshine, isn’t it so?

 

Some friends were here with Anna over the weekend, but had to go back to work in Helsinki. For Annita, this is Spring break from school, 9 days off for ‘hiihtoloma’.

Since Mr. Boyfriend and I can’t be together today, that’s how I’ve planned it: I want to be alone!

Alone. To feel. To reflect. She needs to reminisce, in order to continue writing this book she’s recently begun.

 


 

Omar and Anna chatted on Messenger earlier. He’s been reviewing her first drafts and has some constructive criticism.

“Anna, there in Chapter 2 where you say you like practical gifts. I’m not quite buying it. Nobody’s that pragmatic. Come on!

“Gifts make one feel seen… It’s about feeling valued and important to others at the end of the day. But OK, the socks are nice. Romantic.

“Amiga, why don’t you take advantage of the fact that you’re anonymous? Be fully honest with yourself, tell the reader everything. You’re an Alias, it’s a diary. It’s safe to pour your heart out. And we’re curious.” 🙂

 

The next few days are going to be her first holidays alone.

Ever.

Anna had been afraid to be here like this, in such secluded surroundings. The pitch-black darkness of night. Well, she’s been locking all doors, even though you don’t really need to do that in the middle of the forest in this country.

Mostly, she had been afraid of feeling lonely out here without him – every corner of the place bursting with memories.

So far so good.

Always face your fears! Don’t run away from them. And… solitude and loneliness are different things!

This is solitude.

And what a wondrous place this is.


 

Back to work then, Chapter 2, where did it end?

Ah, here it is… Eggs, Light Coke, Diesel, Lindt. She is reading over her Ray Ban glasses.

Socks. Yes!! Socks… Someday I’ll share my life closely with somebody again (but it will have to be someone as special as me), and we’ll give each other good socks for every birthday and every Christmas. One pair each. And sometimes on a normal day too, just to be romantic. ❤️‍😍”

I’m changing the verb tense. There. This sounds better: “And we’re wearing them all.”

 


 

I like that part, it’s sincere, hopeful, simple and romantic – like me. Hope Mr. Boyfriend takes the hint. Haha.

 

OK Anna, challenge of the day: be honest with yourself. Think of this whole situation. The whole mess. Dreams, frustrations, the longing. Everything you and he shared in a year.

She leans back on the couch and is suddenly in far-away-heartland. For a loooong time. When she comes back to here and now, Anna is ready to type away…

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 428 – but love does stop time!

 

 

Chapter 20 – A Little Place in Finland

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

There is a little place in Finland – so unpretentious – that invites you to come and relax for a few days. Its calming breeze seems to whisper, “You are your truest self with me, so drop your guard, inhale and exhale, and notice your contentment”.

It’s a place where nature envelops you with tranquility and its little birds tweet in the morning.

Other than that, all you can hear are the sounds of silence. And your own steps in the snow.

To get there, you must drive for a pretty long time in the countryside, before taking a left turn onto a dirt road in the forest.

A beautiful forest. Hilly – majestic in its simplicity.

It’s no touristic site, nor does it aspire any fame. It is just whole and happy to be what it is.

Precious. Priceless.

Ten kilometers down the dirt road, after various curves of peaceful expectation, you come to a little farm where the dogs start barking to announce your arrival, a few horses neigh behind a white wooden fence, and the lady in her late sixties who owns the place comes out to greet you with a warm smile and animated chatter. Her husband is a friendly man, too, though he talks much, much less.

 

They’ll lead the way, ten minutes further down to their lake and the little cottage you’ve rented to spend a few days at. There, you can enjoy total privacy and solitude. Naps, the fireplace, healthy meals (and some Fazer chocolate, of course).

Anna loves jogging and walking around the lake. And all the hard work of carrying logs from the woodshed to the cottage.

The property has electricity, but no running water, which makes the whole experience even more special, as the water to do the dishes has to be fetched from the lake.

Once a day, you sit in the sauna and let it revive your whole being – body and soul – as you look out the sauna window at the amazing views with pine and birch trees, before a skinny dip in the hole in the ice.

Avanto, in Finnish.

For her, the place is loaded – but only with good memories and emotions. The first two times, she came here to celebrate a very white Christmas with Mr. Ex, their little kids and dear friends.

Santa Claus showed up too, making his way slowly to the cottage in the unblemished snow. Four-year-old Kristiina was so excited to meet Santa in person, but then she recognized our friend, “It’s Rick, it’s Rick!” she giggled happily, while Baby Joey slept through the whole thing.

Anna will always be grateful to Rick for introducing her to this place.

In the next chapter, permit me to forward our story to February 2017, a little over a year after Anna’s divorce.

This is the first time Anna is here at the cottage alone.

All her stays have been special, but the best two were with CT2, aka Tinder Date #16, aka let’s wait and see.

Are you getting any curious? Well, if you’re patient…

…You might get a few glimpses into the warmest, most passionate parts of her sielu soon.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Next, flashforward to day 428 since moving out.

 

 

Chapter 17 – Netflix and Eggs…

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Saturday, 30 January 2016.

 

Day 41

 

It’s Saturday evening and the kids have left to their dad’s again.

The week with them was lovely. Heart-warming. They all went to school, enjoyed time together at the gym upstairs, watched Friends and talked.

And hugs, lots and lots of them. Naturally!

I think they’re OK. And we have each other.

 

As planned, Anna focused on them all week, going on zero dates. But… she did chat with Frederick and Christian on a daily basis – during lunch break and such.

The way Englishmen interact is so different. Warm and lively. They’re polite. Communicative. It feels pretty awesome. 🎯

With Frederick, the chats are quite deep. Friendly and versatile. He seems to be a frank and centered person. There’s no talk of meeting up, but their exchange feels soothing. Besides, he’s cute. Maybe we could be friends who are there for each other.

With Christian, on the other hand, it’s always so surprising!

He’s smart, playful, flirty, witty, but in a very gentlemanly way, making Anna laugh all the time.

He seems quite eager to get to know me better.

And women love attention. 😍😍😍

 

Christian asks questions, comments on her replies. What an endearing guy… And he keeps promising to come to Finland soon.

Hmm. Too good to be true? We shall see.

 

But……. don’t put all your eggs in one basket, Anna! Nor in two. Haha.

Not yet.

You never know, after all.

And remember you’re free to play the field for the first time in your life. Breathe, sit back, enjoy the flirting, the attention. The cute compliments.

After Mr. Ex, I’d say it’s about time!

 

It’s snowing outside, and Anna’s feeling really content. It’s one of those rare, special moments. She goes into the freezing balcony and looks out the window. Oh, the glass is a bit dirty. Eurgh! I hate cleaning windows.

Later. I’ll do it one day.

So what, the rest of the flat is in tiptop shape.

She’s taken a shower and is just relaxing in bed, enjoying the weekend over the clean sheets. Perfect. Life is good. There’s nothing better than chilling in bed with your skin against crisp, newly-changed sheets, with a warm eiderdown to cuddle and wrap your feet in. Is there?

Perhaps some Netflix?

 

Her phone rings. It’s beautiful Kristiina. Calling to ask her what she’s up to. “Oh! Nothing special. Just some Netflix and chill.”

“Mom! Nooooo!!! Don’t say that!” Kris is giggling, partly terrified, partly amused.

“Why? What? It’s cool. My pupils say it all the time. They look happy when they do.” Anna says — “Last Monday I began my lesson by asking them what they’d done over the weekend. ‘I myself just netflixed and chilled’, I told them. They loved it!” by this time, Kris is laughing uncontrollably.

What the heck?

“Mom!! Don’t you know what it means?? Haha. OMG. Joey, come here! Mom… it’s code language. You text somebody to come over for Netflix and Chill. The chill part is sex! The movie is just an excuse. Or the warm-up. Hahaha.”

Now I’m blushing. “Oh, they got me, those little devils” and I’ll never say that again. Thank God for my teens. Phew.

 

“Haha, ok Kris, noooo! No chilling whatsoever here. Just netflixing. I promise.”

It’s still early evening when Andre sends her a text on Tinder.

So, read about them, aka my next Tinder Dates in the upcoming chapters. Coming to you through WordPress, sponsored by Netflix and…

Absolutely No Chilling (so far).

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 41 of no chilling.