Chapter 76 – The Day After

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

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Monday, 22 February 2016.

 

A Little Dark Cloud?

 

Anna and Christian’s first date and night together turned out to be surprisingly special. So much so that she spent the morning smiling – and writing about it in her diary. Now, he is back at his hotel for work and Anna is taking a nap.

 

13:52   I’m wondering if there are any games that you have that I know… and to which you can’t make up arbitrary rules!! 😊

14:28   Hi Chris.

Hey. Sorry I gave you a late night.

It was fun!

For me, too.

14:32   Yes, let’s go play more games and watch a movie? I’ll beat you!

In the games…

Haha. Only because you don’t tell me the rules. Where is James Bond? Cute dog. Cute owner.

Lots of good things happening. Have made my business calls.

Getting a tattoo later.

Funny guy!

 

Anna approves of Christian and feels that there is some potential in this man…

She is on holiday – the sun is shining so bright! And ahhh to be free for the first time in my life! Ready for some loving and some action. Some TLC.

Nonetheless… why has life gotta have lows too, huh?  Do you know when a little dark cloud comes out all of a sudden and overshadows your perfect sunshine?

After writing in her diary, she is feeling a little intrigued by something she read about Christian, as she googled him a little earlier. Hmmm. Anna, be smart!

Well, at least I’m going to have a good week.

Minimum. 

His part is his job. To prove himself worthy of my trust and interest. But, what’s the hurry?  Sometimes frogs become princes… We shall see.

Ops! What if a prince can turn out to be a frog, too??

His choice entirely!

 

At 4:30, Anna visits her sister and then goes to meet Christian at his hotel reception, as planned. This time the feverish Englishman is there. Sweet.

A nice kiss on the cheek and he says, “Hi pretty one! How was your day? How are you doing? I would have found your home this time. Believe me!”

“Well, I did not want to take the risk of you being two hours late. Again. Haha.”

“Oh, those things never happen twice with me. Don’t worry…

“Anna, I want to take you on a proper date tonight. My turn to treat you. Where do you want to go? Choose your venue!”

“Oh! That’s nice, Christian. Hey… why don’t we make it practical tonight? We are planning on watching a movie and playing a game later, aren’t we? So, instead of going to the city center, let’s have a pizza near my home? Then you can come and give the nurse here a proper visit, Mr. Englishman With A Bad Cold!”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Let’s do that.” he smiles with warm eyes.

 

They walk down towards Ruoholahti without holding hands. He is looking nice, smartly dressed, and she is showing him places and sharing little stories about the neighborhood as they walk to Pizzeria Daka by the canal. The place is not fancy at all, but the pizza there is delicious, in Anna’s opinion.

They sit opposite each other. She doesn’t really like the style of his blazer – hmm, it makes him look older – but she does like him…

“Anna, how has your day been? Tell me all about it.”

“Oh, good. Saw my sister, took a nap, wrote a little…”

“Wrote? To your other Tinder matches, huh?”

“No. This week is all yours. Haha. Maybe! Hmmm… Just in my diary.”

 

Anna is a little serious, more quiet than usual. She’s thinking. A lot.

 

“I had a great time yesterday, Anna. Thank you for a wonderful dinner.”

“Oh, me too. Thanks for the champagne, Christian! Nice to finally meet you.” she smiles.

“You are so thoughtful. I hadn’t realized you had that serious side. It looks like you’re plotting!”

“No! everything is OK. I’m just thinking.”

“About what? Would you tell me?”

“Ah, not yet. Someday. Just some things… Never mind. I’ll tell you later.”

“Phew. Good. You are giving me The Look!”

“Yes, I am. But for now, you’ll just have to wonder what it means.” she laughs, feeling more relaxed.

And he is nodding really quickly. Awww.

 

“Chris, I love your nodding! Has anyone told you how cute you are when you nod fast?”

“My nodding!?”

“Yes. Have none of your girlfriends told you that?”

“No. That’s hilarious! Must be a Finnish thing.”

“Yeah. It’s adorable! Crazy ladies didn’t tell you.”

“You are the first… Anna, when I like someone, I nod.” he looks at her affectionately.

 

During dinner yesterday, Anna had asked him how many serious relationships he had had. He’d gotten married around the age of forty, after all, and then separated three years later, so she wanted to check – lightly – about him possibly being an eternal bachelor.

“Btw, I counted today. I have had 14 girlfriends.”

“14?? That’s a lot!!”

“Well, I had about twenty years for that… Working in the Karoo desert for fourteen… It wasn’t easy to find a wife there. Guess I was just waiting for the right person… Until I grew tired of the whole place. Tired of waiting. I missed Germany! All my friends had families and kids. I went on many dates, met a nice person and proposed after six weeks. Crazy! Everything happened so fast.” He comments on the story he’s told her before.  “The rest is history. But I’ve never had a shy girlfriend. All crazy!”

“What about me? Am I shy? Am I crazy?” Anna wants to know.

“You are not shy at all! Crazy…? Hmmm. I am leaning. You do have a wild side.”

“Yes, but I am shy at first. Reserved. But not about being honest. I love honesty… Honesty with love…! Still, it’s good to be the more quiet one for a change. I get to be thoughtful!” She teases him.  “I get to plot!”

“Hope you’re not plotting your escape!?”

“No……” She’s laughing now.

“Do guys normally dominate the conversation, Anna? I like to listen. Then be silly. Then serious later.”

“Most guys I know are more quiet than me.”

“Am I quiet? I’m a bit sick. Scared to talk with my girlie voice!!”

“Haha. Don’t worry. It’s funny. Besides, I like playing nurse.”

“And I like to hear you talk.”

Score!

Anna believes a guy should always listen to the woman a little more than talk himself. I want them to see my heart!

“I’m glad that you like to listen, Chris. And happy you make me laugh.”

“Well… I haven’t really made you laugh yet! Laugh until you cry. Best medicine!”

“But you are the one in need of some of that, don’t you see?”

“Yes, Ms. Nurse.”

 

It wasn’t easy to lose a husband after twenty years. I like this guy so much already. What if I lose him, too? I don’t deserve that. Can I take more heartbreak already??

She gets more talkative now. They keep chatting and laughing as they have the pizza. Her mood is finally on the rise again.

“Did you like the drawing I made of you, Anna? Are you going to keep it on the wall?”

“Yes, of course! It’s so cool. Can we draw some more tonight, Chris? Please?”

“OK.”

“I think I’m gonna draw on your back. More fun! You’re being a good distraction, Christian. I need that! And lots of hugs. Lots more.”

“Yes, you need more. I agree. Are you going to tattoo my back? You can draw the Brazilian flag there – with your nails!”

“We shall see what I come up with. Shall we go? Lots to do. The games are waiting, the movie, the tattoo.”

“Definitely. Let’s go, Anna.” As he waits for the payment to go through, he puts his arm around her shoulders and kisses her head.

 

Now they are walking like that, his arm around her shoulders. Awww.

My God! This feels so nice! I’ve missed this! A lot. Just wanted to meet a warm, confident man. She thinks with her heart melting a little. Healing a little. Can this be? Can life be this sweet?? Really? I’m feeling very glad again right now.

 

“Anna, I liked the pizza, but tomorrow I’m going to take you on a proper date. This place was way too simple. Where do you want to go?”

They stop and kiss affectionately, while good expectations for the night float in the cold wintry air around the canal.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Any red flags? Maybe not. Besides, I’m not perfect either. And healing feels soooo good!! Oh, let me heal fully. Let me just dive all the way in!

 

 

Chapter 68 – Tinder Date #16, Part One

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

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D-Afternoon

 

Anna is feeling as peppy as a little girl on Christmas morning since she woke up and jumped out of bed.

She cannot believe they are finally going to meet face to face after three weeks of enthusiastic chatting on Whatsapp – such heart-warming interaction. Sweet and witty! Back and forth between Finland and Germany.

Ahhh…

What if Christian really is a special person??

Please be!!

Please… Don’t disappoint me.

Well, his texts and phone calls have been quite impressive – I’ll give him that much… Expectations are high. Just saying.

Anna, let’s not get ahead of ourselves! You’ll know soon enough. 

 

If there’s one thing our Anna has learned from her previous fifteen dates, it’s that you never know what the chemistry (or lack thereof) will be like, until you spend some time together in person.

Yes.

She’s found that interesting messages usually make for an interesting person, and phone calls already give you half an accurate first impression.

Definitely.

But, you’ve gotta meet live, really… Spend time together!

Sometimes it only takes ten seconds to know.

But can the attraction grow on you as he shows you the different sides of himself little by little?

Or the opposite? Haha – surely.

It takes time to know people.

 

Then, there’s something else about guys. They have traditionally been considered the stronger, braver gender, but sometimes I think they seem to have interest in a lady, but they just quit way too fast.

Reasonable men won’t pursue a lady if they don’t think they stand a chance. It’s as if their energy is limited, so they need a clear/mysterious sign to see that it’s worth putting in the effort.

This little Love Game is harder than it seems! Gosh.

And more fun.

And more frustrating.

And the winning prize the best there can be (but remember to put in the work to keep the prize alive through the years).

Ahhh… Anna sighs.

Ahhh…

 

It’s like the birds and their back and forth dance of love. We’re just the same!

You chat, he rings you up, you laugh together. You go a little silent – but just a little! You show interest, and then go about your normal daily business.

You live life to the full. Go on many dates, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Never! Not before he will…

He writes again, he pursues you. He finds you interesting and doesn’t go AWOL. You’re active and happy in life.

And thinking of him.

You send him a new message – show him he easily comes back to your mind. Awww. He writes to you for hours on end. Makes you laugh like at the circus. The chat flows. It feels good for both of you.

You send a couple of selfies. Tell him about your day. Wow – he’s interested! He comments. It seems like he cares and finds you adoring for some reason. Expectations are on the rise. You say Good Night 💋, he says Sweet Dreams Xx – and you sleep with a huge smile on your face. Feeling warm and nice.

It’s hot – I’ll open the window.

Sometimes both of you go silent for longer hours and you can’t really know – but you’re hoping you’re on his mind, too. Both are investing time and attention – but playing it just a teeny bit cool, as well. Just to make it more exciting.

This seduction dance goes on for days, weeks or months in some cases.

In theirs, time flies, and the three weeks since they matched on Tinder and started chatting are complete. The awaited D-Day is today. D-evening, actually.

They are going to meet up in person in six hours. Sex, på svenska.

 

Anna finds attraction, romance, passion and love amazing. Maybe it’s happened to her three-four times since she was eleven years old?

That’s why she has to be so picky. You can’t share all that with just anyone. It’s gotta be special. He’s gotta feel like the One. He’s gotta put in the effort and not be a quitter.

 

OK, I’m 40 now.

You fall in love with someone (or the same One) once per decade. That’s not much at all!! Maybe it happens more often as you grow older and approach your end?? Live before it’s too late?? OMG. Fingers crossed.

 

The clock is ticking, and as you can see, all kinds of thoughts are rushing through Anna’s excitable mind as she’s relaxing at home, listening to music on her record player, thinking of what outfit to wear. Singing, humming, swinging to the tune.

She’s on holiday – yay! Hiihtoloma. Her flat is looking awesome – everything is so new – now clean, as well.

 

Ahhh… I should go and set the table. If Christian and I don’t find a restaurant open, we can always come here and have the veggie soup…?

The one I ordered from Mr. Ex – she giggles.

Pedro makes the best veggie soup ever – he’s such a great cook! First, he carries two heavy grocery bags full of fresh vegetables and legumes from the grocery store. Twenty different sorts, for sure. Then, he sits there in the kitchen – a whole day peeling, slicing and chopping the greens. His late mother’s recipe from Rio Grande do Sul.  Extremely healthy. Delicious!

In the last year of their marriage, he would make it whenever she asked him to, while sipping chimarão. She’d freeze different portions of the soup and have them throughout the week.

Last time she went to his home to pick up the dog, she bought a huge pot of the magical soup he’d just made. He laughed at it, but OK, agreed. And gave her the recipe for any future need.

Anna defroze it over the night and tasted it this morning. It seemed a little bland, for some reason, but no problem! She’s chopped garlic, onions, celery and lots of ginger herself, being careful not to touch the garlic so her fingertips won’t stink and be a turn off.

She’s fried it all up and added it to the boiling soup. Must be perfect now.

Ha! I can make soup, too!

 

Uh…Where was I?

Ahhh… daydreaming about tonight’s date. And the Love Game. Mmm.

You talk, you smile, you’re both polite. You look at each other.

Then, look down, fast. In a feminine way.

You have some soup, you smile again, say something interesting. Laugh at his jokes.

The expectation slowly rises. There’s flirting. A little blushing.

He’s cute. He’s sm💗rt. His smile is nice. You touch his arms lightly. There is energy in the air – loads – and he can feel that you like him. His peacock feathers open up. Wide open. You melt.

It takes two to tango.

To tango, to salsa, to samba. To zumba? Definitely to cha-cha-cha.

Well, let’s see what happens.

(Tonight, I promise!!)

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. D-Day and only six hours to wait!

 

 

Chapter 41 – Lots of Wanderings on Divorce

 

Monday, 8 February 2016.

 

Day 50

 

During her lunch break at school, Anna sits down to scribble in her diary.

 

 

Dear Diary,

 

Long time no write! Sorry.

Look, I’m not feeling sad right now, but I forgot to write about something the other day – something important to me that I want to register here.

 

Betrayal.

 

 

Awful word, but intrinsic in human nature.

I remember just last year, a month before moving out of our last home together…

I had already signed my rental apartment’s contract and was spending my afternoons and evenings looking for good deals to buy furniture and household appliances. That part was fun, tbh. I adore moving and decorating. I’m good at it!

I love looking for solutions. Hmm, should have been an engineer…

 

Anyways, the shopping kept me busy and focused on practicalities for the near future, instead of the immediate pre-separation…

…valley

of

death.

 

As you can imagine, I was going through all kinds of feelings. I’d go from excitement and exhilaration to deep sadness.

Agonizing joy.

Energetic exhaustion.

Blue fun.

Fearful hope, dreaded freedom.

 

Oxymoronic paradoxes.

The silent screams of my soul were pretty ugly. Good grief!!

 

Some say that people get divorced too easily nowadays, but I sincerely don’t believe that most take separation lightly. It’s a scary and painful experience. They say it’s like amputating a leg.

More like amputating a part of your heart.

With all our problems, we were together for 23 years. So, neither he nor I took it lightly.

 

Sigh.

I really wish we had divorced eight years ago, when he first made up his mind about it. We wouldn’t have wasted so much of each other’s time and would have avoided more excruciating heartbreak and some other drastic measures… Though I am grateful we were able to part in piece.

Ops! Part in peace!

 

Uh…Where was I?

Yes, during that pre-separation month, I’d feel relieved and then I’d feel anguished. Little did I know it was going to turn out to be a cruel kindness – what he was doing to me.

If only people knew! They’d divorce sooner.

But people with bad marriages fear. So, they make haste s…l….o…..w……l…….y…………..

They’ve got to go through the process to progress.

Yes! Be wise, don’t take it lightly. Prepare the way for a better future.

 

As I was saying… at times I’d cry in the shower. I’d let go and then hold on for dear life.

 

I’d love him with all my hate.

 

I’d agonize and think about betrayal.

I asked him once, “Do you already have somebody else?” All the signs pointed to that. He’d just answer and say, “Anna, I’ve already hurt you so much in this marriage. There’s no reason for me to hurt you more right now.”

Eurgh. Holy sinner – damned saint!

Hmm. Not unlike me…

Some church people judge him, but I respect him for not remaining a hypocritical chaplain in the end. For finally having the courage to be true to himself. And thus, give me my freedom to find love again.

 

As much as it hurts, it’s always better to deal with the truth. I’ll choose hearing and having to deal with the truth 90 out of 100 times. Ha!

The truth shall set you free – true – free to fly the amazingly dreadful flight of freedom. How can we make the best decisions for our own well-being without the truth? 

But do speak the truth with love…

 

OK… Would it have been better to stay in the bad marriage and feel alone together?

♥️ I’d much rather be together alone someday. Just the two of us! Mr. One and me. ♥️

 

As I was saying… I’d cry in the shower thinking about betrayal. I felt so betrayed!

Yet, what was the betrayal??

Was it that he was possibly jumping in bed with another lady?

For me, the greatest betrayal was not that.

 

He fell in love. And I find love truly beautiful.

As Dr. Helen Fischer says, love is a powerful brain system, more powerful than sex drive. It comes from primordial parts of the brain – way below the cortex. It gives you the energy, the focus, ecstasy, the despair and the motivation. To win life’s greatest prize – a mating partner.

Aye!

(Btw, she’s studied brain scans of couples who have been romantically in love after 21 years together. It can happen!)

 

Passion makes people climb the highest mountains and sail the raging seas. Romantic love inspires poets, musicians, commoners. The memories make people write books. 😇

 

Love is something that can cover a multitude of sins.

 

Then, what was the betrayal?

 

The betrayal for me was this:

How can he prefer not to have me in his life? To just erase me, swipe me out.

After everything. All the friendship. All the memories. All the battles, victories, photo albums and family memories. All the patience and forgiveness. All the support and growth.

All that investment in vain.

How can someone actually find they’re upgrading their lives by taking me out??? To think he’s better off without me than with me? Unfathomable.

I felt like garbage.

That actually felt like death.

A resurrection I should have welcomed.

 

Why not sooner then? It would have saved me some of my youth.

 

And what about our kids? They say divorce is harder on teenagers than children. 

 

Wow.

But no problem.

Now I know his cruel kindness was for my best, too.

A passionless marriage is not true. Holding on is just wishful thinking. Wasted years? I think so… 

Men and women out there: pleeease do not hold on to someone who doesn’t love you. Please do not fear. You deserve to be loved with all of your lover’s flawed human heart. Everyone does.

Mutuality!

 

But, silver linings, silver linings, Anna! Don’t get depressed now.

Everything happens for a purpose. Or at least you can give it a purpose and make it meaningful.

I sure am going to turn my pain into something beautiful.

 

 

In this long, long diary entry, my mind has been wandering everywhere – itinerant from place to place. I can break it down later, but I did warn you in the title.

And it does happen with pre-separation. Consider separating, do it, and your mind will thus wonder and wander while your heart rides that emotional roller coaster.

 

Long story short – finally!

 

Divorce??

 

More like amputating a part of your heart.

Hey, maybe a heart transplant!

A new heart? I like that.

I’m gonna think of divorce as an open-heart surgery from now on. Painful, risky, extreme. I’ll need time for convalescence… But not alone, please…?

 

The Divorce Paradox – a seemingly false, but significant step.

 

Anna, you’ll get a new heart – hope for a stronger one.

You’ll still retain your brain, your memories, your soul, your you. But you’ll have the chance to start over.

Bitter sweet. New beginnings. A crash landing? New-found grace.

And an opportunity to be true. To love again and do it much, much better.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 50 of an oxymoronic new life.

http://gtotd.blogspot.fi/2007/06/oxymoronic-paradox-wisdom-of-yogi-isms.html

 

 

Chapter 31 – Just a Nice Intermission

 

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 beautiful 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… Nice 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. Unacceptably grotesque.

Absolutely ridiculous.

 

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.

And you still wonder why she avoids thinking about it, huh?

Cool.

 

Well, I’ll tell you this. If you ever find yourself in this same interesting 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 sometimes. But laugh out loud much, much more. Infinitely more. Watch lots of comedies. New hobbies? More volleyball please. More jogging. New friends? Please, do find a good guy. Believe he’s out there. Someone who desires you. Wants you, needs you. Sees you. A great person. A powerful healing embrace. Chemistry. Just do it, come on. Postpone the frightening mourning, the deathly grief. 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. Hurt. No attraction. No romance. Twenty more years of friendship? Nobody deserves that. To please society?? Don’t you want more? 

One

Life

To

Live.

They were over each other. Entirely.

 

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?

 

Well, fathom this for a second.

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 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.