Tag Archives: relationship

Growing Up George: Ch. 3 The Navigator

When I was seven, I remember a strange man came to pick me up from school once. He was wearing a gray suit with a red striped tie. We had parent-teacher conferences that week and I was supposed to get out early. He had a stubble beard and the librarian looked for me to tell me my uncle was there to get me.

I didn’t know I had an uncle. But if I did, I didn’t want to ruin my one chance to meet him by saying I didn’t have none. So I just asked what his name was. And I forgot what the first name was but I remember our last names were the same.

He had a really nice black ride, shiny like a mirror, with automatic windows and leather seats. It still smelled new. Back then I was barely getting into all that so I want to say it was a BMW but not a hundred percent sure. It was like an M3 Coupe and it was playing real loud Santana. I think he said his name was Jesús or José or Juan. It started with a “J.”

He asked what my favorite food was and took me to the best spaghetti joint in town. I ordered like three desserts that day- everything Aunt Matty couldn’t afford for me. He asked me if I was happy living with my tía, if I had my own bedroom, when was the last time we went shopping for clothes… pretty personal stuff, now that I think about it.

I didn’t have my own bedroom at the time because my grandma had come to visit for six months from Mexico, but I didn’t want to get my aunt in trouble, so I just told my “uncle” everything was as good as it gets. I told him I had my own bike (that was true) and we were setting up a game room with a 120″ television and a Play Station.

“You know how to swim?” he asked over a tall glass of beer.

“Yeah I took classes last year and this year we’re gonna build our own pool. With a water slide. We have a big yard, you know? It’s bigger than the kinder playground at school. I think we’ll get a trampoline too.”

He told me to order something else. Whatever I wanted. I wanted to order something for Aunt Matty but couldn’t decide whether I should lie and tell him it was for me and then give it to her. I didn’t want to order for my grandma though cause she was mean and would’ve just said she didn’t like it. Probably would have fed it to our dog Sancho, and he was fat enough.

(Sancho was an old dog we used to have. He had short brown fur on the bottom with black on top. We had him since before I was born but he died when I was twelve. Now Aunt Matty says she can’t afford to get a new dog).

So this man in the suit, he drove me home without asking me any other questions, not even my address. When we arrived, he parked on the street and asked if I had any questions for him.

I asked him for help on my math project but he admitted he sucked at math. He asked if my aunt was home and said he’d get out to see her.

I ran up the long dirt path to the front door to try to warn Aunt Matty that this really nice impostor was invading her territory. But she was already standing at the doorway when I got there.

Tía there’s a man here. He says he’s my uncle. He gave me spaghetti but he sucks at math. Do you know him?”

She hit me on the head with the weekly coupons newsletter and told me to get inside and stop asking so many questions. I hid under the desk behind a chair so I could listen in.

“Matilde. I brought you Strawberry Crepes. Are they still your favorite?” the man asked as he came up the porch. My aunt took the bag he handed her.

“NO. What are you doing here?”

“You told me to cover the conference for you.”

“It was just the conference, Menso. Why you gotta go taking the boy from me?”

“We just had lunch. That’s all. He’s home now.”

There was a long silence after that and I really wished I could see from under the desk.

“Well won’t you come in?”

The man sat on the sofa and my aunt pulled out the chair from under the desk. I covered my head with both my arms, expecting the worst.

Ah que chinga-” My aunt stopped mid cursing and turned to look at the man, rolling her eyes. “Very funny George. Get outta there. We’re trying to have an adult conversation here. Go to your room.”

She meant Grandma’s room. I obeyed. Grandma was sitting in my old bed reading a book. I told her in broken Spanish there was a strange man visiting and she went out to check up on it. I crawled out the window, went around the house, and crept under the living room window. The three of them were arguing in Spanish. Something about the boy- whom I assumed was me- and not having a father. Something about money. Grandma was cursing and someone shut the window.

A little while later, I watched from behind the corn patch as the man drove off in his shiny black car.

I don’t remember ever seeing him again until nine years later, after soccer tryouts. He was leaning against the fence, drinking a Gatorade like one of the coaches. Same stubble face. Same red tie/ gray suit. I wondered how long he’d been standing there, if he was going to say anything or if I should just walk past him and pretend I didn’t know him.

Well, a good lunch was a good lunch and I’m pretty sure I never thanked him back in the day so I directly approached him. “Hey man, what’s going on? My aunt call you?”

“George Ballesteros. You remember me.”

I did a 180°. Pointed at the back of my jersey.

“George Lara. My bad. Hey listen I’ve got meetings all day and have to run but there’s an issue I need to tell you about and I was writing you a letter but figured you’d think I was a coward if I didn’t deliver the news in person.”

The field was clearing out. Everyone was heading back to the locker room. The head coach yelled out he’d post the list on the gym door the next day.

My “uncle” handed me a Gatorade.

“Hey man, no offense, I don’t even know who you are. You took me to lunch way back when. Thanks for that. But as far as I know, you’re a distant relative. My aunt wasn’t happy to see you last time either. She won’t be happy if she knows you came out here today.”

“I understand.” The man pulled out his phone and checked the calendar. “A ‘distant relative’ has passed away and I think you ought to go to the funeral.”

“Who was he?”

“My brother.”

“Who are you?”

“I gotta run. I’ll call your aunt with the details. I’ll leave her a message. She never picks up.”

“Wait up, wait up, just call me.” I had managed to afford one of those prepaid smart phones from helping neighbors clean out their yards all summer.

The man stalled. “I legally have to run this by your aunt. But yeah give me your number and I’ll text you the details.”

As he saved my contact to his phone, walking backwards toward the parking lot, his SUV beeped open. Shiny black Navigator. But what was that prep’s name?

 

 

 

 

 

Advice on Befriending a Married Person of the Opposite Sex

If you are a married person,  don’t invite your spouse’s ex-BFF to dinner telling your spouse last minute when said ex-BFF has only kept in touch with you but ignored your spouse for the last five years.

And if you are the ex-BFF, don’t keep in touch with your ex-BFF’s spouse for five years after you called your then BFF to tell her she is a whining, self-serving hypocrite while she was at school and you’ve  made her cry in public and then ignored her for five years.

Just saying.

Are you an initiator?

Are you typically the person who initiates conversations, texts, relationships, sex, etc?

Or do you like to be on the receiving end?

Some of us don’t have much of a choice.

If we don’t initiate, we could go years without human contact.

I am not naturally an initiator.

Being shy and with low self-esteem my whole life,  I can think of a dozen reasons off the top of my head why someone would rather not be contacted by me.

But there are some people I’m willing to initiate for, because if I don’t,  I’m afraid I’ll lose them.

There comes a point, though, where I become exasperated.

I wind up at the corner market pigging out on chips and taramisu for lunch.

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This is something I'm happy to initiate.

One recent example of said exasperation is my supposed BFF.
She got divorced in April but has been disconnected from me because she has been talking to this new guy I don’t approve of.
She’s never been a clingy friend, but it’s like she only calls when she has guy problems.
I told her I was buying a house in May and didn’t hear back from her til yesterday.
She only texted me because she’s depressed that she’s cut off contact with the new guy.
I see the pattern clearly now, though I ignored it for over the last five years.

I was arguably rude, I think,  cause after a few texts back and forth,  she didn’t reply.

Eh. I’m used to it.

But that’s not why I’m pigging out right now.

That’s because I just saw through my coworker.

She keeps asking me to move patients to an earlier time and then sabotages the schedule so I have to call them again and move them back to their original time.

I decided to take a long lunch and let her deal with her own mess for a change.

I don’t have sisters and was never really close to my cousins growing up,  so maybe that’s why I have trouble getting along with most women.

Not sure why I can’t get along with men, though.

That’s a whole ‘nother mystery for a different food binge.

Curly Haired vs. Straight Haired

The pros of curly-haired personalities:
-laid-back
-easy to get along with
-quiet
-creative
-artistic
-intelligent
-independent thinker

We tend to be non-confrontational but at the same time non-conforming.

The pros of straight-haired personalities:
-prettier overall
-more controlling
-influential
-popular
-trendy
-self-confident
-professional

Straight-haired people are less sensitive to how they affect others’ feelings but tend to be more successful throughout the day.

This is based on my personal observations being a head of curls…*
*NOT A SCIENTIFIC STUDY
So please don’t cite me in JAMA.

If you are one or the other (you may also be Wavy or Bald) and the mental picture of the person of your dreams has the opposite of what your partner has…
(i.e.: you wanted a straight black haired wife but your girlfriend is a crazy curly brunette)
You either need to love her for who she is, entirely, curls and all, or do her a favor and break up with her ASAP.
Because if 12 years into your marriage you’re still trying to get her to straighten her hair “to look better,” then you will make her miserable.
She will hate herself and want to die or perhaps want to hurt you back.

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Uphill Arroyo Verde Park

Long, Long Weekend

The Italian doctor sent me a Facebook friend request.

I was so excited, I didn’t know whether or not to accept it.

Then *poof* just like that, I woke up.

So I’ve had a hell of a week, even though it’s barely Monday, I am counting today as part of last week.

This last week I only slept for a couple hours on 4 separate nights.

Then Thursday at work, our loan broker texts me: “Hi there!! We have our loan approval…”

Five minutes before that, my co-worker’s real estate agent had just texted her that her house is now in escrow.

She was very sad about that since she did not choose to sell the house; the decision was made for her.

So there she was, standing right in front of me, crying, when I get the text that our home loan got approved.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have told her, it was bad timing, but I was excited and she was right there, so I showed her the text and she was happy for me.

Extremely ironic. Extremely awkward.

I texted a few of my closer friends to share in the festivities with me.

The next day while I am getting a cleaning at a dentist’s office where my friends work, literally while I am in the chair, our broker sends me a message that they made a mistake and the loan is not approved.

-_-

I kind of held it under control during the cleaning but then when I was back in the waiting room I was so mad I couldn’t stop crying.

Thankfully my two friends were there to comfort me.

I called my husband and let him know what was going on but he seemed to be taking it a little too well, which was disconcerting.

We tried to go out to dinner that night but he lost all patience with me and after chasing him down in the car and then pretending I was going to divorce him so he’d come back home to talk to me, it turned out he never got the text that said our loan had been approved.

Only I got that text.

I just assumed they had told him too.

That is why he didn’t understand why I was so disillusioned and making such a big deal about our loan broker being dishonest.

I think by then it was like 2 AM.

The birds woke me up at 4:30 AM.

I went back to sleep at 6 AM.

My husband’s alarm woke me back up at 7 AM.

That was Saturday.

Yesterday he got upset at me about something else.

I guess cause supposedly I have really bad timing when bringing up things he hasn’t done.

You mean half an hour before you’re supposed to give a speech isn’t a good time to tell you you still haven’t installed the software you promised me on my Mac?

Well yeah. I can see it now.

But yesterday it seemed perfectly logical.

This bad timing thing seems to be a recurring issue for me.

I am supposed to start Invisalign this week which I guess by blogging about it it kind of defeats the purpose of its being invisible. (‘—‘)

As for the Italian guy- I think I looked at his profile too many times cause now he’s appearing in those little Facebook boxes that say “people you might know.” *0*

If I were to send him a friend request I’m pretty sure he’d accept it, but I am under the impression he’d accept a friend request from a squirrel.

So then I’ll just be lost in a sea of acquaintances, I’ll still be a nobody to him, and it’ll break my heart much like asdfghjkl;.

Heart patch boy and girl
Some people’s approach to relationships.

Even worse would be the alternative to that- the alternate ending in which we fall madly in love with each other and sail away to the moon.

…Because the moon is across the sea.

I guess.

Anyway.

Moving on.

My husband did do something quite grandiose for me today which is that he helped me overcome my fear of steep hills.

No, he didn’t push me down one.

We went hiking and he walked at my pace. …After I texted him to wait up.

I will hereby refer to it as the hike that saved our marriage.

Uphill Arroyo Verde Park
We went up this hill…
Downhill Arroyo Verde Park
…And came down this hill (the scary part). (Because you can’t see the bottom or top from the trail). (Trust me, it’s just scary.)
Random Pig Salsa Tray
Random Pig Salsa Tray

What Love Poems Shouldn’t Be About

Too many love poems are about revenge.

Look at me
Being happy
Without you…
Blah blah blah
Whoop dee doo…
Etc. etc.

If you’re writing a poem to someone you used to be in love with, trying to convince them how happy you are now that they’re not in your life, you are obviously still hooked on that person.

If you were really over them, you wouldn’t care if they know or not.
You don’t try to inspire any sort of reaction from that person because you will have developed a serene sensation of indifference- like a callous after you’ve burnt.

So, sorry.
You can rhyme your bitter heart away but I ain’t buying it.
In the words of Yogi Berra,

It ain’t over til it’s over.

Yutssyyrzux

(I typed the title with my eyes closed).

If you could live anyone else’s life, whose would it be?

Would you?

Most likely not.

Why would anyone want to live anyone else’s life, without any control over the next decision, whether it be what to wear or what to drive?

Or why would anyone look at other people’s social media accounts and live vicariously through them?

These are all mistakes I am prone to making.

It feels good for a little bit but quickly unwinds into feeling… Like someone’s punched you in the stomach and ran off with your wallet.

You don’t know what that feels like?

You can always look at your ex’s new partner’s social media and experience what I’m talking about.
Though I wouldn’t recommend it.
Especially if their new partner’s way hotter than you are.

It’s like, Whoa, honestly, there’s no way I could compete with that.
I’d probably be all over that person if I were gay.
Which I’m not.
But I probably would be.
I don’t blame him for getting over me in what seemed like a matter of hours.
It’s ok.
I’ll be ok.
I’ll just roll over in this bed thing I’m having trouble getting out of and blog about it on my blog that got a pageview a couple days ago.

It’s a good thing, however.
This shortness of breath and dizziness.
I mean, let’s say just for example, I had been planning on custom-ordering some random person a gift to send it anonymously to them, but then I see how happy they are without me… There’s really no point in pursuing that idea.

The gift would be taken as a joke.
It’d be dangled and mishandled by all sorts of stander-bys who happened to be there that day.
I wouldn’t be there to see it, but my heart would somehow feel it.
It’d break all over again.

It’s like my friend said once, the person who stayed is always the one who loved most, and as a result, also the one that hurts most.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself.
I’m feverishly sick, I have a pounding headache, my throat burns, and my boss keeps texting me by mistake.
Plus I have 70 photos to retouch by last Sunday and at least five loads of laundry.

I know what I need.
Ice cream.

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I'm also having a bad-tongue day.

Unbeknownst Self

Another hard day draws to an end.
The typical night fog clouds up the stars.
Murky sky.
What have we done to the night sky.

I ended that with a period because it’s rhetorical.
Or it ought to be
You, the reader, ought to be meditating on your carbon footprint.
I’m trying to imply concepts but we each have to do our part.

Not that I personally have much of a part.
If I do, then I’ve forgotten my lines.

The neighbor has turned off their porch light making the sky less bright but still murky.

I sit in the car and stare at people walking their little dogs between the mobile homes.

When we had to move here in February, I practically threw tantrums on the floor every night.

I have a 1 hour commute to work Mon-Friday.

I never have time or energy to cook or do laundry.

Then I thought… I hardly ever did that before anyway.

Once I settled into the new routine it became less hard.
I gave up on trying to get to work on time.
I am not a morning person.
Never have been, never will be.
Lucky for me, neither is my boss.

I stopped trying to change myself to fit so many conventional norms.

I stopped talking back to narrow-minded idiots.

What difference does it make.

(Note the period?)

My car is cold.
The day wasn’t hard because of the commute.
My assistant I recently wrote about made a rude remark and it makes me sad.
She said, “You can’t just please yourself all the time.”
Her tone and words imply pleasing myself is all I ever do.
I want her fired.
She’s known me for years so it really hurt.

We’re not close friends but then again I’m not close friends with anyone.

Speaking of close friends, a little while ago, my husband and I were speaking with our loan broker, who happens to be the beautiful wife of my ex-best-guy friend.
He was my best-guy-friend until he broke the golden rule of guy-girl friendship.

After being close friends with each other for half our lives, he made disrespectful comments to me late last year.
He tried to get me to do something for his employer by hitting on me.
I don’t know him anymore.

My husband sought out his wife to see if we qualify for a house loan- which of course we shouldn’t- but being the creative persuasive woman that she is, she has helped us find a lender at a decent rate.

“Yes, yes,” you are thinking, “Blahblahblah but why are you in the car?”

Now you must know as well as I do that everything in this world has a catch.

The catch to this “let’s buy a house” project is that it’s really a duplex and I will have to live next to my in-laws forever, or the rest of my life, whichever ends first.

image

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I’d be fooling myself if I told myself my husband wants to buy a house for us as a couple cause that is the normal way of couples who love each other.

Idk maybe I’m just cynical.
He wants to buy a house for his parents to retire.
I said “Ok but not your brother.”
His mom said, “Yes your brother.”
He said, “Oh well.”

Today is a hard day because he doesn’t hold my feelings or opinions in any regard.
I mean, he doesn’t even read anything I ever write.
I’m not writing this behind his back.
I’d be relieved if he read it.
But it hurts that he doesn’t really care.

Well he did bring me a quesadilla out to the car a few minutes ago but sometimes that’s just not enough.

My biggest problem is I can’t remember things.
Like I know he made me really sad the other day and I deleted his messages, but today I have no recollection of what happened.
I don’t understand- do I forget cause I love him?
Is that forgiving?
Am I really just pleasing myself all the time?

I miss my friend- the broker’s husband.
He’d let me rant on about this for hours.
His broker wife probably knows too many things about me.
She must know about my writing habits and my imaginary stalkers and how I was in love with someone else a while back.
It is awkward that she is helping us.
Or maybe…
Inadvertently, she’s not.

For just a few seconds, I caught a glimpse of the moon.

Question About Male Behavior

I have a friend who had a friend who dreamed she had a friend whose cousin’s sister’s granddaughter had a question about guys.

Is it typical male behavior to want your wife or girlfriend to dress more provocatively?

I don’t mean at home or in bed, I mean like at their workplace or in other professional situations.

If I were a guy, I’d kinda want her to save her goods for me.

Is it common to think your girlfriend/wife dresses too conservatively?

So this friend of a friend person we’re talking about- she gets catcalled and unwanted attention and she just dresses in normal everyday clothes that she mostly buys from Victoria’s Secret clearance section.

What are your thoughts on this?
Is the man in her life being normal or what?

While we’re on that…
Coincidentally, this same woman notices that every time a chance comes up for her to be away from home, the guy really supports her leaving.

Like yesterday, for example, he told her she should be a park ranger even though she’d be away from home for days at a time.
He said he’d totally support something like that.
Even though she never brought up wanting to be a park ranger.
And he tends to make comments like that all the time.
Or so I hear.

What is up with that?
So he is in the habit of saying she doesn’t look hot enough and telling her she should be away from home.
Is she overanalyzing this?
Are all guys pretty much like that?
Is all of this an imaginary scenario that really has nothing to do with me?

Please advise.
Her.
Please advise her, and I’ll relay your message.

Cupid Fail and Other Stupid Things I’ve Done

Have you ever had a decent bachelor friend who is also the pickiest guy on earth?

Enter Brad.*

Brad and I used to work together at one of the car dealerships where I did stock photography.

He’s very upbeat and financially responsible, never married, not even engaged, lots of mostly short-term girlfriends, great sense of humor, and had recently quit smoking.

Brad was turning 50 and was thinking it might be time to settle down.

Guys were always picking on me at that job, where picking is synonymous with hitting on me.

Brad would come in like a pelican shoos away seagulls.

He practically obligated all the other guys to respect me on his watch.

So you’re thinking, Brad sounds like a fairly decent guy, right?

We exchanged guitar picks on one occasion; I gave him my business card and he started texting me.

I was naive enough back then to think he was just being his positive flirty self, but in time it became clear this man is very bed-driven.

And by bed-driven I don’t mean driven to sleep.

It was obvious our “friendship” made my husband uncomfortable.
‘All the more reason for me to continue it,’ I thought.

One day he broke off his lunch with me because this ‘woman from out of town was coming to visit’ and he’d rather spend the weekend with someone he had a chance with.

I got very offended.
It had been very hard for me to convince my husband to let us have lunch in the first place.
I was really putting my marriage on a ledge to be his friend and here he was being this insensitive asshole (well he was) indifferent to my efforts.

I didn’t care that Brad was having lunch with another woman, (which according to his public Facebook page, was actually a guy friend from out of town).
It was his choice of words that really hurt me.

Consequently, I also chose a series of words that would hurt him, and what he intended as a gag ended up being a sore point in our relationship- the Crossroad of Dissent.

Later on, at my current job, I had an annoying single female coworker (Gail*) whom I thought would make a great match for him.

I told them about each other and he asked for Gail’s picture.
I sent him a link to her Facebook profile.
“I don’t like blondes,” he said.

Days later- “What did he say about us having a blind date?” Gail asked me.

“You know, he’s really hard to get a hold of,” I replied.

Brad and I became friends again but not like before.
I was looking for a new job and seeing as how my other ex-coworkers have an undeniable linear pattern of sending my messages to spam, I needed him as a reference.
I decided to stay on his good side, sans the flirting.

Then my current coworker’s (Liz’s*) husband passed away.
A month later she started wondering what kind of guy she could date.
Yeah. You read right. A MONTH.
That’s how long it’s gonna take for your wife to start seeing other men if you kick the can.
So put a clause in your will.

Brad had told me he likes Latina brunettes with thin bodies, and here I knew one, who in turn likes well off white men who work out.

Logical match, right?

Liz texted me a nice picture of herself to forward to him.

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My hot coworker Liz, new on the widow scene.

“I’m just not feeling it,” texted Brad to me.
“I want a woman like you.”

:0

“But Liz and I have tons in common!” I pleaded on her behalf, “She’s even sweeter than I am!”

“When have you ever been sweet?”

“Yeah you’re right. I was hoping you wouldn’t catch that.”

I tactfully texted Liz that Brad was seemingly already in love with another woman.

That was a few months ago.
I have since blocked Brad’s number.
Liz stopped talking to me because I technically took her job, though I would argue she conceded it to me.
Last week she apologized for “being a bitch,” -her words, not mine- and things are starting to go back to normal.
(With the exception that I’ll never trust another coworker again.)

Liz and I are both being sent away on a business trip for a few days to a city where Brad happens to have a lake house.
This morning, in a very perky voice, she asked me, “Hey! Doesn’t your friend live over there where we’re going?”

Me: “Oh you mean Brad? I blocked his number.”

Liz: “Too bad your husband’s going with you, otherwise you could meet up with him.”

Me: “That’s why I’m glad my husband is going. I was afraid I’d run into Brad and he’d start hitting on me. The guy just can’t take No for an answer.”

Liz: “I thought you said he was seeing someone.”

Me: “…He’s just an idiot. That’s why I blocked his number.”

(Facepalm.)

Yes, yes, dear, avid reader!
I’m also an idiot, for trying to set up anyone with anyone else.
I wish I knew a Shakespeare who could make a comedy out of my relationship mishaps.
This is the last time I ever try to play Cupid.
My next blog post will be, “Things That Are Better Left to Chance.”

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. In this case, me.