saw. felt. remember.

before. photo by nicole friedler 8.6.16

I saw, felt and remember- when it was sweet:

You’d grab my head, with your fingers intertwined with my hair and hold me so close- breathing me in like it was oxygen.

You ran down the street as I was coming to pick you up because you didn’t want to miss a moment waiting for me to drive to you.

You got on a plane- clear on the other side of the country, to fly all day, just to drive two hours into Maine after you landed at night to see me in a bowling alley with coworkers you didn’t know.

You’d give me a card, saying the most amazing things.

You’d make the ahi meal I love so much.

You’d try to be creative with my favorite team: rookie cards, car doors, mini helmet, wall banner, tickets to the Missouri game.

You used to stop and purr- just looking at me.

Then you stopped. Everything.

I saw, felt and remember- you didn’t see me:

You’d put your son first, even though he was wrong and abusive towards me.

You’d ignore that I went above and beyond to make every birthday special for him- making his favorite cake or sending him friends money so they could.

You’d ignore that when his clothing didn’t fit, I’d order online the sizes he needed knowing they didn’t sell them in the stores.

You’d ignore when I’d make his or his friends special meals, so he or they felt welcome.

You’d ignore my hurt at his constant entitlement, demeanor and attitude towards me – even when I helped him go to see his girlfriend at the mental hospital, paid for flights, paid for any and everything.

You ignored the fact I tried. Everything.

I saw, felt and remember- the YOU people don’t get to see, ever, aside from me:

You’d walk out of the police department, to take whatever meal, coffee, kiss, or cold drink I’d (sometimes hours coming from work or just waiting for you) out of my way to bring you- because I wanted to give you a kiss or see you- just to grab it and walk away as quickly as you could.

You’d get jealous on every vacation we ever went on.

You’d shush me. EVEN WHILE WATCHING MY GAMECOCKS.

You’d ignore the fact that the house was filled with food, new linens, cleaned, warm, with dinner cooking- and a cocktail waiting on the counter- even though I had a long day too.

You’d ignore every time I got up early to make you something to eat or pack your lunch- because you don’t eat until noon now.

You’d ignore when I was hurting the most, when I was silent for days or crying.

You’d yell at me. Knowing it was too much.

You ignored the fact you went through two academies and college- while I took care of our home, and made sure you were encouraged and supported. Did you ever notice that took place until now?

You’d judge me. Even when you knew it was hard for me to be honest and open up.

You’d ignore the fact I was lonely, even when you were here.

You’d take extra shifts, even after being gone for so many days.

You put me second and third. Every time.

You’d take from me, so many things- and then be frustrated with me for noticing it because I felt unappreciated, used, and unloved.

You’d be in a good mood on your terms, if you felt like it, when you wanted. But if I craved it, you’d refuse.

You didn’t see me, but blamed me for hiding myself- when I was right in front of you.

You ruined it. You ruined EVERYTHING.

I saw, felt and remember- when you refused to show up for me:

You always ignored if I was uncomfortable. I don’t get uncomfortable, so if I do- doesn’t that say something?

I can count on one hand the amount of times you danced with me in the living room when I would ask- for only a moment. It might be a little ironic that the last time you actually did, it was to Garth Brooks’ The Dance. (See Lyrics at bottom of post)

You took voluntary police details WHEN I WAS BEDRIDDEN and my body was so weak and lifeless for 3 months.

You told me you purposely ignored me FOR A MONTH when my animal died.

We’d make love- and all I wanted was for you to tell me how you felt, kiss my neck, and be in the moment, but YOU put YOU first. This wasn’t a result of a *disorder*, this was ignoring what turned me on. But it’s my fault I didn’t let you try? You had the answer and ignored it. EVERYTIME.

I saw, felt and remember- the conclusion:

I have felt like the maid, waiter, whore, cook, servant, assistant, child, bitch, complete asshole, gremlin, sugar momma, and provider- for years. Do you even see how much you took advantage of me? Had you ever stopped, put your ego aside, and considered it?

You’ve said, “this is not a two way street.” I very much agree.

Would YOU try after years of that? Would YOU try after years of seeing, feeling, and remembering all of that pain that hurt me enough to leave? Would you? You ignored the fact I tried, so many times, but my love wasn’t good enough for you.

I gave you me. You said you didn’t like me.

So, I left- because I LIKE ME.

…Fast Forward 1 year.

Thank you for publicly posting our private situation by changing your Facebook status for all to see throughout what has been the most awkward and unsettling year of my life. Because grown men are supposed to care about a facebook status…

(yes, that is 100% sarcasm)

I call this post my retaliation to that behavior. oh, hey.

As a 53 year old man, the lack of grace, tact, taste, and couth you’ve shown is astounding, yet fascinates me- almost to a titillating degree. Then again, it’s the first time you’ve given me any kind of stimulation in the past 12 years. So, I should be thanking you.

In closing, I took your advice most recently that I should “open up to someone for once, cause it might make me feel better.”

You know what. It does!

Guess now I can focus on my poodle* (definition, see below) you so politely told me to go get. The beauty of it is, I never needed a poodle. I only need me.

Bless your heart, Brad.

*poo·dle [ˈpo͞odl]

NOUN

  1. a type of man who fits all high standards of a perfect man according to katie. he is educated, preppy, pretty/handsome, tall, well dressed, funny, charming, challenges one to make them a better person, enjoys the finer things, successful, maybe has a little bit of an arrogance, enjoys college football, enjoys traveling, will drink chardonnay and eat oysters with me on the water- while completely skipping work, enjoys going out to dinner, enjoys traveling, is strong in both mind & body to an alpha degree, doesn’t mind throwing someone against a wall and kissing them deep and slow, isn’t afraid to use a little (or a lot of) dirty talk, and allows me to have orgasms.

Garth Brooks- The Dance (Lyrics)

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Holding you, I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
If I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey, who’s to say, you know I might have changed it all

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

If our lives are better left to chance
Oh, our lives are better left to chance
Oh, our lives are better left to chance

I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

the beginning, in dates.

Never before in my life have I received so many compliments of “you look so happy!” or “what have you done differently to yourself?” or “you look amazing!” than I have over the course of the past year.  What’s my secret?  Simple.  I have been officially in love, for the first time in my life, for one whole year.  You have no idea what that does for your skin.

Let me walk you through the beginning, cause it’s my favorite part.  Don’t be deceived though, for I am more in love right this very second, than I was at any of the moments I am about to describe.  Enjoy.

Dec 23rd, 2011.  the reintroduction. (This one is my favorite) One year ago on December 23, while driving non-stop from Kittery, Maine to Milwaukee, WI, a man took a detour in off I-90, in Chicago, IL at 2:30am.  While in Chicago, two people were reintroduced to each other, after only meeting in person once- about a year and a half earlier.  An awkward hour later (of sitting about 6 inches apart on the couch, pretending to watch Gladiator), the man took the girl’s hand as he got up to walk to the door.  An electric shock went through her body so intense that she is typing about it right now for all to see.

Dec 26th the first kiss.  (Okay, this is my favorite too)  The scene: cold winter early evening, her face in his hands, against a car…sigh.  Have you ever melted into someone’s hands?  Yeah, well I have too.

Dec 29th an unsuccessful museum tour.  Yeah, you try walking around a museum when you can’t keep your hands off someone. It’s not easy, at all.  But gosh is it fun to try.

Dec 31st a phone call from a balcony in a Chicago high-rise (at a NYE party): a girl told a boy she loved him.  Oh and I meant it.  It’s not the first time I have said it to someone, but it is the first time I really meant it.  It just came to me and I said it.  I didn’t care how soon it was because it was more true than anything I had ever said before that moment.

About a week later, he said it back.

One year later, and here’s to many, many more.

photo
year 1.