Chapter 77 – Tea with Milk

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

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016.

 

Breakfast

 

The tea water is almost boiling in the traditional kettle Anna has over her stove. She decided against having an electric one in her new home. Time to switch it off. There.

Happy sigh. What a night!

Breakfast is on the table, and Anna discovers just how hard it is to wake Christian up.

“I’m not a morning person. Let me sleep five more minutes!” He moans adoringly.

Little kiss on his head and she wakes him up with a warm hug and some teasing fifteen minutes later. Now, they are sitting at her long table for breakfast. She likes visitors, lots of friends at once at her place, so she bought herself a table for up to ten people.

“Tea with milk?”

“Yes, please. Thank you for letting me stay the night. Sorry I’m sick. I haven’t been at my best lately. Did you sleep well, Anna?”

“Oh, I slept very well. Happy!” she smiles sweetly at him — “It’s amazing how perfectly we fit in that narrow bed. Who would have thought??”

“Yes, it was made for us. And I like your cold wall against my back to cool me down.”

“Ooohh, that’s your secret! Yeah, about the heat. Your hellish fever the first night!? You were burning and both of us were waking up to drink water all night long. Even I had a dry throat!

“I think I’ve figured it out now, Chris. It was that veggie soup of mine! I added sooo much garlic, ginger and celery that it must have caused all that thirst. I’m not a great cook, I’ll admit as much.”

“Yes, must have been that! The spices were hot. But the soup was delicious,” he reassures her.

Plo-plim!

Plo-plim!

 

“Oh Christian, I managed to get us a sauna slot for tonight. Here on the seventh floor. Would you like to join me?”

“Only if we can run naked outside!”

“Haha. Maybe someday.”

“Yes, I’d love the sauna. And the naked running…! This is Finland, after all, isnt’t it? So…….. you want to see me again after night two? You were so quiet and mysterious at the restaurant! Plotting Anna. Giving me that look.”

“Of course I want to see you.” She laughs.

Then, feeling a little more vulnerable, where is this sweet voice coming from? I didn’t know I had it in me to be this feminine, “It’s nice to hang out with you, Christian. Especially when you’re less private. You are adorable and warm. And you’ve got the best hugs and touches… It feels as though I get a glimpse into your soul when you open up.”

He holds her hand over the breakfast table.

“Oh. I don’t mean to be private. You can ask me anything.”

“OK…?”   Anna wonders what she should ask at this point.

“Sometimes a guy needs prompting,” he adds.

“I like joking and laughing, but I love deep conversations. I want to know who Christian really is. Your hopes and dreams, vulnerabilities and fears. Innermost thoughts.”

 

“You sound like a shrink!” both of them laugh “I’ve got all those things. I’m human after all.”

“I’m sure. And I’ll feel honored if I can get a glimpse into that. Thanks for the pizza, the walk and your jacket. I got home safely without freezing!”

“You’re welcome… I find it easier to open up with soft lightning, good wine, music. I like to be relaxed. And you have made me very relaxed and at home here.” he kisses her hand  “It’s good to talk in bed too, where it’s more intimate. Otherwise I feel like I’m in an interview. My problem, I know. Hahaha. Why don’t people have interviews in bed?? Defense down.”

“You’re impossible, Chris! Maybe you’re onto something there… But there would be a lot of lawsuits! Haha. Mmm. Now I know where to do all my investigations!”

She goes around the table and sits on his lap.

“And about those girlfriends and marriage again. Don’t get me wrong. I had fun. But it’s not for me,” he tells her.

“What is not for you?” Huh!?

“Being single.”

“Ah, OK. I’ll tell you… It does feel that you are at your best when hugging, kissing and being really sweet!” She kisses his short-trimmed hair.

“I love that, Anna. I need that. I like to love. And to be close to someone.

“I realize you know so little about me. And google is not very helpful! It won’t show you my heart. Remember, that you’re not a mind reader, Anna!” He looks inquisitively into her eyes.

“Well… I’m very intuitive, as you’ll see.”

“You can google some half-marathons of mine and you’ll find something. Those were the days – I miss South Africa! Want to go back to being at my health peak.”

Plo-plim!

“Look at this weak belly!”

She touches it “Aww… I like it, Christian! Very cuddly to sleep against…”

Plo-plim! Plo-plim! Plo-plim!

“That will change! It will have to go!”

“Well, only if you want to and you think you’ll feel more energetic. I want to lose some weight, too. Summer is coming and we have to get into bikini shape!”

“Maybe for my villa in Spain? You’ll love it. It’s so chill!”

Plo-plim!

“Sorry for that. I’ll put my phone on silent mode. Wait.” She reaches for her iPhone.

“Oh… Look at all those Tinder notifications. Popular, Anna!!”

“No…”

“Yes, they were popping up all night long while you were sleeping.” He teases her some more.

“Seriously? Haha……. About Spain, let’s see if I’ll ever be invited again. We’ll talk about it later. Look, it’s almost 12. Are you going to your hotel to check out soon?”

“Yes, I’ve gotta rush. These were the two most expensive hotel nights I’ve ever paid for. A room just for storing my suitcase! Humpf.”

“Haha. What a waste! But I’m glad you stayed here with me.” Maybe he doesn’t realize it just yet – though she’s tried to show him what kind of person she is – but he is the first man ever to spend a night with her – two whole nights – with the exception of her husband. This is such a huge step for me. It takes a lot of trust!

“Me, too. Though you haven’t given me that tattoo you promised me yet, Annita.”

“Well…. You did lose the Ingenious game. Let’s see if you’ll earn your tattoo later!”

“See you at the sauna then?”

“We have ourselves a date, Christian!”

“Well, I got lucky! Come here, you.” He kisses he fully on the mouth and she melts into his embrace.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Can life really, really, reeeaaally feel this sweet?? I’m probably just dreaming. Pinch me!

 

 

Chapter 55 – The Interim

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016.

 

Day 58

 

Anna goes away from Tinder Date #12 feeling restless.

Disappointed.

She’s been too busy and is feeling a little worried about her daughter Kristiina, as well.

Not that she’d been too excited with any of this week’s dates before meeting them. Slow chats, little effort. Just nice enough.

That’s boring!

 

I don’t understand why people even go to the trouble of going on dates with half-efforts.

Nothing we don’t devote ourselves to can become special in our lives.

We learn to love what we serve – in other words, give our best efforts to. Time, energy and affection.

On the other hand, we shouldn’t throw our pearls to pigs…!

We just can’t love what we don’t respect. We don’t appreciate what comes easy. I definitely don’t enjoy half-hearted stuff. Not for me, no.

These half-wits!!

 

Christian puts in lots of effort into our chats. Good manners, a positive attitude, respect. Flirtiness. Like Frederick – except for the flirting.

She’s feeling a little too tired when he finally sends her that smile selfie he’s been promising.

What?! So different from his other pictures. What??

Oh, what if I don’t like him in person?

 

All these last events make her ponder over things and worry a little bit. She appreciates honesty, so here it goes.

16:30   Christian, I’ve been thinking… Can I share a little?

I have a question. Is now a good time to ask?

14:37   Hi there. Yes, of course. What’s on your mind? Can I ring you up?

Oh, maybe soon. I’ve just been thinking that my separation is so recent. Imagine. It happened just last December. Yours was in September? So, maybe you can relate…

Here I am two months later… On Tinder. I’ve been on quite a few dates already, and even though most of the men were nice, I didn’t feel any attraction – except maybe with one. Still, I didn’t want to keep on seeing him.

Most of them asked for second dates, but I just didn’t feel like it. And that has made me wonder whether I’m ready for this or if I still have too much emotional baggage to deal with…

I love chatting with you every day. It’s so nice!

But I’m wondering: since I don’t know if I’m ready for anything more (and we don’t even know whether we’ll have any chemistry in person)…

Are you interested in becoming friends with me if we feel no attraction? You seem to be a great person and I could really use some new friends at this point in my life. And… if nothing else comes out of this, at least we could both gain something precious. No wasted time!

I love having a warm well-mannered person to chat with, like you. The best on Tinder. 😊

 

Anna is being very sincere. At the same time, what she’s not telling him is that based on the previous dates, she knows that some men who seem nice online are so boring in person.

Discouraging, really.

Or then so horribly dressed. Bad teeth!

I am not a superficial person. I make lots of new friends easily and respect every human being. I believe every person was made to be loved and appreciated for who they are. Everyone has their brokenness and their beauty.

Still… that doesn’t mean that I have to accept just anyone into my life, as my boyfriend!

Without chemistry there’s nothingFrederick is right.

 

Hmmm. Who should I give a chance to?? I’m not looking for a perfect guy. My expectations aren’t too high. I don’t care if he’s my age or 10 years older.

I don’t mind if he’s short, like the other women on Tinder seem to do.

I don’t care if he’s overweight – or middle class, like me. He doesn’t even have to be super handsome.

(I’ve read that it can be good for the relationship if the woman is just a little better looking than the guy. That way, the guy feels like he’s scored and the woman feels great, because she always feels pretty in his eyes. He’ll be happy with this. Value her more? I don’t know if that’s true, but it does make sense…)

 

So, what am I looking for??

Well, I certainly know what I do like.

Hmmm.

I like kindness and good manners – I hate constant bad moods.

I like interaction and good communication. Don’t really feel attracted to slow, boring men who won’t chat or talk much. They don’t ask anything – or then they do, but don’t comment on my answers.

Dull!

He doesn’t need to have a PhD, but I need intelligence. Mr. Pedro/Ex was very intelligent. I loved that about him.

Funny, hardworking, a good dad (to his kids). A good enough listener… A guy able to make decisions and take action.

A mature man. Playful, too. The man in the relationship.

Affectionate. Oh, very, very affectionate. That’s what I dream of the most.

Sigh.

Sigh.

Sigh.

Oh, gosh, does he even exist? My cousin Caleb and my brother Moses are like that. My father, too. Some of my friends, as well.

But is there someone out there for me…?

 

Am I too demanding? Do I have to lower my expectations?

Hmm. Most men my age are married. 90%. Minimum.

And the other 10% includes the lazy ones, the crazy ones, the smelly ones. The half-wits.

 

OK, maybe I could give up some of my expectations. 😯

But, but, I’m talking about who to bring into my intimate life! Not just about who to become friends with.

Into my life, my home, my heart, my body, my history, my dreams.

My present and my future.

And vice versa. Into his – value him and his.

Sigh.

 

I definitely have to do some research on the topic this week.

 

Anna, thanks for opening your heart to me. I have loved chatting with you, as well. I can see you’re a kind person, and so beautiful!

Everyone has baggage. I do, too. We’re all flawed, but we won’t know about the chemistry if we don’t meet in person. No pressure, though.

I’m interested in friendship, as well. Hopefully more. Life is good but gets lonely, like I said before. I’m coming to Helsinki just to meet you. If you’ll have me.

Work? I can work from my computer, from anywhere. You are the reason I’ll be flying there.

 

Wow, what a man.

At least this cool friendship. Fingers crossed for more. 🤞🤞🤞 I hope he’s as lovablelicious as I imagine.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 58 and five to go?

 

 

Chapter 28 – In the Forest

 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017.

 

Her work trip is long – an hour and twenty minutes from home to the second school where she teaches twice a week. Anna’s driving there now and wonderful English choir music is playing in her Kia Ceed.

These drives are often special. When she doesn’t use the time for listening to Ted Talks or chatting with friends and relatives over the phone, she gets to meditate.

Reflect. Revisit her inner world and check how she really feels about things. Not just logically speaking, but more importantly, in her gut.

Heart. Soul.

A couple of deer have just crossed the road before her. Dangerous. But oh, so beautiful!

Her mind is empty, for a change, and she’s just sucking in the majesty of the Finnish countryside nature.

 

Beauty – ah! What is beauty?

These wheat fields. Oh. Such colors! Now I understand Van Gogh.

 

Rain is falling gently from the grey clouds onto the slippery, curvy, hilly roads ahead, as the Chelmsford Citadel Songsters harmonize with each other. The trees all around her are shedding what they’ll have no use for in the coming seasons.

Gracefully, nonetheless.

Their yellow leafs dance their way down, blowing in the wind as they fall to the ground. To match the scenery, thankful tears of deep emotion escape Anna’s eyes.

Shamelessly.

Lots of people I love are going through so much. Both the good and the bad. And all those dates I had last year. Real human encounters some of them. And then love. I’m going through rain in my soul, too. 

But behind those clouds, the sun is shining strong and it will conquer again.

She inhales deeply.

 

And what about people? What makes a person beautiful? What makes a guy handsome in my eyes?

I know.

Very well.

She arrives at the school parking lot, stays in her car and quickly scribbles some thoughts on a leaflet. She’ll keep on working on the poem during her lunch break.

🍂 🌾

 

I’ve been wondering. What is beauty? Hmm, who is handsome??

 

I think beauty’s a sad countenance

With a hurt heart that’s healing.

A brave heart – succumbed –

That keeps resilient,

Like a little bird must in a cold, cold storm.

 

Beauty is…

…both generosity and self-confidence.

…self-esteem, a good posture.

And your smile.

Yes, yours. Who else’s, precious one?

 

Your weight, your height.

Being you. Your wrinkles.

Trying to become a better version of yourself (with help),

While being comfortable in…

Your own skin.

 

A fearless soul

Marching to battle,

Though so fearful in sacrifice, maturity.

A scarred soldier who conquers:

Beautiful is he.

 

Beauty’s…

Intelligence.

Producing and loving. Youthful vigor.

Experience. Old age.

A life. YOLO. R.I.P.

 

Acceptance is graceful – weaknesses and all.

Loving yourself in a healthy way

To then really, really love others:

Your neighbor, your soul mate,

Your father? Your friends.

 

Oh, beauty is a trusting spirit

– Like that of an innocent child.

Gentleness, uncorrupted sweetness, and kindness, delight.

 

It’s to be proud of your achievements, talents.

Yet humble at heart.

 

It’s certainty, uncertainty.

Genuine you are.

 

In service. Purity.

Determination, vulnerability,

Respect, authenticity.

Do shine your light!

 

Forgiveness.

Wholeness.

Your brokenness, too.

Gratitude. A joyful being!

Deciding to live in truth.

 

Your amazing body and that sparkle in your eyes –

Beauty is the whole package, you see? Cutie pie.

 

When you can be bothered

You’re so handsome, making lots of little efforts

Both in action and in words,

You hardworking, fun,

Affectionate Guy.

 

Beauty’s…

A person walking in the forest

In solitude.

If accompanied – oh!

They’ll soar, they’ll fly.

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is!

Tudo é belo ao que ama…

 

It’s solving your problems and

Finding your purpose.

That, beauty is…

Most definitely.

Indeed.

🍂

 

She’ll read her poem aloud to some. She’ll send it to ten-fifteen loved ones she finds beautiful. Who inspire her. Including him.

© 2017 rf

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Wheatfield_with_crows_-_Google_Art_Project – kopio

Wheatfield with Crows, 1890. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

 

 

Obs. About a year and eleven months since moving out. 

 

 

 

Chapter 21 – 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 true?

 

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

Since we 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 the 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 jet-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 Finland.

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.”


 

My, how could I be any clearer? Hope Mr. One takes the hint. Hmm. Mmm.

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 long time. When she comes back to here and now, Anna is ready to type away:

 

Dearest Diary,

P.S.

Remember when I wrote about what I think of gifts (29 December 2015)?

🤐 

OK, I’ll give you the whoooole truth.
Honestly? 😬😁

I want you to give me socks and a wild flower, a jar with stones from a beach we visit, a little note, or a snowball on my head. A drawing and a napkin.

I want hugs for no reason. Lots of them. Firm – like you want to grab me. (Just saying, Finnish guys out there, learn! Fica a dica).

And hot kisses – touches.

 

At this point, Anna is sobbing noisily. She looks funny and can barely see the laptop screen as she pours her soul onto the keyboard. But OK, OK, keep tryping –  cryping  – Oh, typos! Dry your tears, Anna. Here we go: t – y – p – i – n – g. There. Typing.

 

A handwritten card with words that you really mean. Chemistry – gosh, that goes without saying.

Take me to KFC, my favorite junk food joint. And always wear a nice shirt for our dates if  you want me weak at the knees.

I want eyes caressing my body and trying to pierce my very soul, while music whose lyrics you want me to hear is playing in the background. A romantic get-away in nature. Like here. With frequent little favors.

I am a strong and capable woman, but I want to feel my fragile and feminine side when I’m with you.

I wish you to want to play board games and… Don’t let me win! Invite me to dance, even if we suck. Let’s play a little volleyball together at the beach, just to make me as excited as a child – up for it?

Send me pictures of anything that belongs to your normal life. Selfies, please?

🎼 Detalhes tão pequenos de nós dois…
Oh, do think about me and miss me, too.

I want you to listen to me while I read you something deep; to watch movies and series together, asking why I’m crying as we eat creative ice cream mixes I’ve come up with. Skin on skin.

Tell me when I’m wrong – you can tease me a little. I even miss someone to fight with. God! Can you believe it?

My patience is real, but don’t let it fool you: I am very demanding. Let’s expect nothing but the best we can give each other at any given point and time.

 

Ah. I want you to try to write me poetry, the result being really bad (but you presenting it to me anyway). What really matters are your intentions, the emotions shared, your honest attempt.

Tell a good friend about me? Small surprises. Yes. A surprise visit. Why don’t you? Call me from the airport.😏

I desire your confusion, your excitement, a little fear of loss.

Long, brisk walks and talks. For you to tell me what you are really thinking. What are you going through, my love? Your doubts, your dreams, your longings, your hurt, your fears. Even your BS, any addictions? Give me your tears.

Give me your jokes, your smiles. Make me laugh. What do you yearn for, what makes you excited, what can I do to make your world stop for a moment in time? Not all the time.

Scarcity and distance inflate desire, so there’s a limit – let’s not go clingy.

Above all, I desire your true self and the spontaneity of your being. Don’t do everything I want. Of course not. And it’s not about me. Not everything. I’m just a part.

Experience special moments with me, will you darling? Another first. And tell me good things, from time to time? 🐦

I’ll gladly take your little efforts sometimes.

Give me affection and attention in a variety of small ways. Make it count. Send me lots of emojis with your messages? Don’t be sparing.

🦅

At this point in the text, my reader, please leave your answer in the comment section on your left. Are you thinking:

(a) Eurgh, all this girly mushy talk.

(b) I can totally relate.

(c) Yes, and I can add my own dreams to the list! Maybe write one of my own?

 

As the author, perhaps I’m leaning towards, hm, female readers will relate… And male readers are almost asleep?

Well, what if I tell you the aforementioned is all based in real life events? It really happened guys. I just miss it. Every day I do.

My son hates it when I say women are more emotional than men. OK. Maybe it’s not about gender, but about your personality. Are you a hopeless romantic, too? I’d love to know. But some opposites attract…

Alright. I’ll just wrap it up now.

🦉

 

Let’s choose each other.

I’m challenging you. Solve your problems! And be aware that I’m independent – I won’t need you to survive…

…No!

Just to be much, much happier than I already am. And life more beautiful. Meaningful. Really full.

I know what long-suffering is – I can take it. I’m tough. I need to focus on my life too right now. But then someday…

…Someday when I’m ready, I’ll want your best for me. Just like I want to give you mine. We have the know-how.  It was great. We’ve tried it.

There’s a time for everything under the sun, but life is for living, not just for sacrificing. YOLO. One life, don’t forget.

There’s an impending time for turning tables. For being happy and having someone to share that with. For daring to dream and to pursue your goals.

 

Many things are not under our control, but we should do our foremost about the things that are. Expect and accept. And hope for the best.

I’m fine alone, but if you turn out to be the One, you’ll have the power to make it all a hell of a ride better, you see?

So.

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 you do, both in words and in action. Looking into my eyes.

I like your vulnerable and your self-confident sides equally. So, I’m asking for the sincerity of your heart, your truth, the abundant affection, the generous spirit, the earnest loyalty and the courage it will take you to find yourself, be your deepest self and live it all out.

With me, who else?

Forget the price tag.

 

And the phone starts ringing.

© 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. 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 19 – The Making Of 1

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

Appendix


 

Flashforward to February 2017 when this book begins to be written.

I ask Omar – a genius friend – for some feedback and he repeatedly challenges me, “Anna, the nicest parts are the ones where you dare to be vulnerable, like when you’re concerned for your teens after moving out.”

“Yeah, but isn’t the story supposed to be funny? And how can I expose myself?? I’m a teacher and a mother,” I wonder for months ahead.

CT2 reads some excerpts as well and he agrees. I should definitely say what I’m really, really thinking. He suggests a blog.

 

Now, flashforward again to yesterday – if you get what I mean (8 October 2017).

Some of my smartest friends have been reading my blog. They like it🤘. We’re all visiting Iris’s family in Vantaa:

Joey. Mom Riitta and I. Carol & Sami. Velho. Natasha and her daughter Anastasia.

 

Carol introduces us to her boyfriend…

“Well, finally Carol! Where were you hiding him for all these months?” I tease her.

Aww. Such a beautiful couple. And I can totally get what she sees in him. So happy for them… Emotional me thinking to myself.

Carol and Sami met online after Iris and I insisted for months she join our virtual club – which she did. Reluctantly.

Gosh. Love at first date. More importantly: with the first guy she goes out with!! Lucky bastards.

We’re at the table and this is when my mom Riitta, usually quiet/just observing everything tells Carol and Sami, “You guys have had more luck than Anna!”

Burrrn!

Ouch.

“Cause as far as I know, she’s not dating anyone right now!” she says, looking at Velho.

More about that later.

 


 

“Hey Anna,” Carol says, “it’s cool that your blog is funny and light, but what can really set it apart is that you won’t just share your online dating to your reader. Above all, share your emotions, the pain of the divorce, your inner life…” she’s adamant in reminding me.

 


 

Lucy and Fred are divorced friends of mine, still single like myself. They’d asked me for more blood last spring. The gory details of my story and I quote: “How did you sleep the first night alone? Where’s the rage?! The hurt. The reader will want to relate.”

“But, but, I want to tell the story as it actually unfolded. To me, it has to be authentic. Be patient. It’s coming,” I try to explain, feeling defensive.

Humpf. I’ve been adding some scarlet drops here and there. 🦈 I hope you’ve noticed.🦇🐲🦂 🐊 🐆 🐃🐲🦏 💉💣🐻  OK, some of these emojis don’t look that scary, so: 👿 👹 👺

 

Truth be told, all this feedback has been helping me dig into my deepest self.

I’m getting there…

It’s therapeutic. All part of a process. Remember that Anna is determined. And she tries hard to live according to the following challenges: Let it go. Let it be. Live and let live. There are no problems. Just solutions.

Well, at least I hope so.🕊

 


 

What about Iris? Oh, Iris is something else.

My loving friend Iris is ab-so-lu-te-ly hilarious. A Jewish engineer, she’s always loud and clear about her opinions – if anything, you can count on that. Kind of like Golde from Fiddler on the Roof.

“Oh, for F#c*’s sake! Who cares what the others think of your writing??! It’s your story. Your book. Just do it like you want to, my dear, and enjoy..!”

 


 

After the evening with her friends, Anna feels inspired to go back to Chapter 7 to add some more sensitive material there. Scroll down all the way back to Tino’s, if you will.

“Two days. My very first date! Yay.”

…Blah Blah Blah. Long story short, the guy cancels. Maybe you recall it?

 


 

Amiga Lucy rereads chapter 7 with its additions this morning. Then she gets back to me.

“The part I like the most is ‘Stupid Tino thanked me for understanding…’ I would have told him:

22359463_10155993116841015_296742144_n – kopio

Ops, Tino.

Roasted!

© 2017 rf

Chapter 9 – Switching Homes

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

 

Friday, 15 January 2016.

 

Day 26

 

 

Happy Man 

🎼 Now playing at Anna’s

When I die there won’t be much
To salvage from my earnings
I never had a lot of land or houses to my name
I’ve never been a corporate prince
On Madison and New York
I never held a diamond in my hand

But I’ve seen children laughing
As only children can
And I’ve known my Creator
And I’ve been a happy man

I never really loved the way I saw it in the movies
But I had myself a woman of my own
The place we lived was modest
And we kept the yard together
I never traveled far from my hometown

But I’ve heard music playing
That made me understand
And touched the hearts of heaven
And I’ve been a happy man

Life has had its hard times
When I’ve felt the chill of winter
I can’t forget the night
When my sweet Julie slipped away

But growing old is different
Than I always thought it would be
The sweetness of my youth
Just grew with age

‘Cause I’ve known wealth and beauty
Beneath His guiding hand
And knowing soon I’ll see Him
Has made me a happy man
And knowing soon I’ll see Him
Has made me a happy man 🎶

 

Mr. Ex is back from the Bahamas and the teens have now switched to their old flat to be with dad. Kristy and Joey are going to live a week with each parent, according to what has been agreed.

The situation is new to everyone involved, and definitely not easy, but it’s good that their homes are only a km away from each other.

 

Anna is sitting in her car with him Mr. Ex, who else?

The weather is really bad outside, and a huge snow storm is making Helsinki more and more beautiful by the second.

They are talking politely about things, his trip, the teens…

… And the divorce application form. 😯

Just fill in both spouses’ whole names, identity numbers and the date. Ah! Don’t forget to sign and also tick the box stating this is the first divorce application,” the officials had answered to her inquiry.

Yes, it’s as simple as that in Finland: one single, very easy PDF page that you google and print. And just shove into a mailbox anywhere, as though it were a birthday card. A few weeks later a confirmation will arrive be mailed. And six months later the judge’s decision. Through the post office, as well.

Better this way – as if life isn’t complicated enough already during a separation.

 

She has decided that if things have progressed this fast, so that Mr. Ex has already traveled with Ms. Newbie, then they should get an official divorce ASAP.

She hands him the pre-filled application.

They find no pen in Anna’s car.

Decisively, Ex gets out of the car into the storm to sign the form inside the Siwa grocery store on Eerikinkatu.

That’s what he really, really wants then, she realizes.

 

The next day, she spends her whole Saturday cleaning. She likes things to be spick and span, and especially organized. The lack of space makes it hard to keep all their stuff tidy when Anna and her teens are sharing the place.

Nevertheless, it has been so special to be with them for over three weeks.

Joey, Kristiina and I have always been so close. ❤️‍

To her, it feels like they are her friends as much as she’s their mother.

 

Just before leaving, Joey wanted to open up. He didn’t want to go back to his dad’s, as he’s feeling angry at his father.

“He should have used the time with us, mom! Maybe traveled with us to grow closer and make us feel safe at a time like this… Not with that Ne#wb%i&e!

“This whole thing is too hard. And how can he not love you?? You’re the best there is!!”

 

It’s tough to see Joey this upset. Anna understands him and is actually feeling concerned herself.

While she is searching for inner strength and wisdom about how to respond, she just listens, thinking in silence…

 

Gosh! How are things gonna go??

Of course I’d like the teens to stay with me longer, but how would they keep the bond with their father if they didn’t spend half the time with him?

And Mr. Ex has to come back to normal life, back to reality! Our kids are his responsibility, too.

Oh, he will. He’s always been a loving dad.

But what about Joey’s feelings??

Besides, if I make an exception already and let them stay on over here, how can I expect to divide their time and care with Ex later on?

 

It doesn’t matter how I feel right now.

I have to think of their best. Think long term, Anna!

Otherwise, they’ll be the ones who will suffer the most. They’ll regret growing distant to their father.

 

Anna doesn’t want Kristy and Joey to feel unwelcome or unwanted in her – ops, their – new flat. She needs Joey to understand the situation.

It takes some loving words on her part to calm him down.

“Son, I understand your feelings. You’re entitled to feel the way you feel and you’re always allowed to express yourself to me. Always!” he is sitting on the kitchen counter and she puts her hand gently on his knee “Having said that…

“…Life is messy, my darling. You don’t understand adult relationships yet. Your dad and I really tried everything we could. We wish each other happiness now. And…” sigh “…Maybe you’re right to question his actions.” “But he loves you and wants to keep close to you and spend time together!”

“Eurgh. It will be hard, mom!!”

“Yes, I know.

“Joey darling. As hard as it is to accept this… Your dad and Newbie are just human. At the end of the day, they are doing nothing hateful. We’re not talking about war, crime or terrorism here… They’re just two people trying to love and be loved. That’s it.” she sighs.

 

“I know mom.”  it’s his turn to sigh  “For me it’s OK that you guys separated, it’s not that… But to already have traveled with another woman! So wrong. You guys are still married.”

“Hey Joey, remember. You don’t have to like the way things are, but I want you to always treat them with respect anyway, OK? Give it time…

“You know what, son? You can call me and we can meet up any day after school! We can hang out even when it’s your dad’s turn to be with you. Come over for a snack or to do your homework. I’ll be missing you, too. Very much.”

They hug good-bye and Anna feels heartbroken. For now, the whole separation seems a bit easier on Kristiina.

 

It’s Saturday evening now – many hours later – and Anna’s place is looking clean and cozy.

She showers, gets into her pjs and then places her favorite vinyl on the record player she got herself for her 40th birthday with money gifts from friends. She’d planned on buying one for centuries. She’s glad she did.

B.J. Thomas is singing and the music sounds both comforting and fantastic to her ears as she stands there, looking out the balcony door.

Happy Man has just played. Those lyrics touch the depths of her soul! A simple, loving, happily shared life is all she’s ever wanted.

Will I have another go at that? A second chance?

 

She’s kept this specific record through all the zillion moves from city to city, country to country since she was a child. She’d dreamed of having a record player again, wished to turn vinyls to the other side to listen to good music in a nostalgic manner.

Definitely worth it!

 

🎼 He holds the stars in the sky
He holds the land back from the sea
If He can do all of that
Surely he can take care
Of you and me

He’s got it all in control… 🎶

 

Anna feels that she herself is doing well under the circumstances, but offers up a prayer for her teens to be OK.

Somehow.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 26 since moving out. What now???

Happy Man LP – B. J. Thomas © Word, Inc.