Nostalgia…otherwise known as “getting old”

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately.  I’m not sure if it’s the time of year or if I’m just getting old, but apparently others are feeling nostalgic as well.  Today I heard from an old fling/good friend that I hadn’t heard from in at least a year.  Out of the blue he sent me a message saying “miss you.”  It instantly brought me back to all the great times we had together and all the laughing we used to do.  I miss him too.  So I told him so.  Fast forward to 20 minutes later and I had invited him to come visit.  Not like that, y’all.  Just as friends, though he may think otherwise.

Also, today my oldest friend is coming over to hang out.  He and his wife live in the same state as me, but I haven’t seen them in almost a year.  We have both been super busy this year and haven’t figured out a time to get together until today.  It feels like old home week or something.

It seems like the older I get, the more I value friendships and miss some of the amazing people from my past.  I never thought I would want to go to my high school reunion.  In fact, I was positive I would NEVER be caught dead there.  But now I find myself kind of looking forward to my 10 year reunion in June.  Sure, there are some assholes I do not want to have to interact with….Rat Bastard being at the top of the list.  But there are so many people I have lost touch with who were great friends and awesome people.

I decided that I am going to begin sending holiday cards to all the people I love, but may not be in touch with.  Growing up, my parents stayed in touch with a lot of people this way and it seemed to work well.  I’m going to give it a try.

You know you are getting old when you start behaving like your parents….

A Great Day

Sorry folks, this one is not dating related, but I wanted to share because it is so awesome.

Yesterday was a great day, I spent it with one of my good friends shopping, laughing, watching football, and having a few beers.  After I dropped her off, I went home and tried to get my roommates to rally and go out.  My two male roommates, ARommie and BRoomie, were home just sitting around being lazy.  A few of their friends came over intent on sitting around drinking beer and watching a movie.  Through sheer will power, I managed to convince them all to rally and we went out.  It was me and 5 guys.  We walked around laughing at all the drunk college kids until we found a bar that we could stand to go into.

After I ordered the first round of drinks and got them to our table, we were talking about the house.  One of my roommates’ friends asked me how it was going living with the guys.  I shrugged, smiled, and said it was going well.  Then the friend looked at ARoomie with the question on his face.  ARoomie looked at me for a minute and then said “Honestly, it’s awesome.  FRJ has the most amazing energy.  You can feel it when she walks into the room.  It’s really nice to be around her and she makes our home a really positive place.”  I almost started crying.  I held back though (out with five guys after all) and just said “Wow, thanks!”  ARoomie said “It’s true.  You have a really positive energy.  It is always obvious when you walk into the room because everyone is uplifted.  Just look….you managed to get 5 guys intent on being lazy to get up off the couch and go out.  Without complaining.  That’s pretty amazing.”

It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.  And the whole time he was talking, my other roommate and their friends were nodding.  It was incredible to feel so loved.  It is sort of novel to feel that way with a bunch of guys.  It’s really clear that all five of them appreciate me for who I am, even if they also appreciate me for other reasons (BVP was there….see post BVP).

When the bars were closing we went back to our house and hung out for awhile chatting and teasing each other about random things.  When the friends were leaving, one of them said to me “I’m sure I’ll see you and the rest of the family tomorrow.”  And it didn’t seem weird.  Even though we haven’t lived together or even known each other very long, we are like a family…

BVP

My roommates’ friend, let’s call him BVP, likes me.  I just have a feeling…..and I also have evidence…

  1. The first night we really hung out, we got pretty tipsy and then decided to go to a local bar.  (It seemed like a great idea at the time, NOT SO in the morning.)  The entire time we were at the bar, which we went to in order to pick up girls for the roommates/friends, he talked to me.  We discovered we were both using the same dating site and he looked me up and spent the rest of the night alternating between comparing our “compatibility” and asking me tons of questions about Mr. Perfect.  Then, when we got back to my house, I laid down on the couch and he asked if he could lay down too and cuddle.  I was feeling pretty….good….so I said sure.  And he talked about how nice it was to cuddle with me.  When I finally went to my room to go to sleep, he gave me a longing look and said goodnight.
  2. The next night was the housewarming party at my house.  Mr. Perfect was coming, so I was all kinds of nervous.  BVP came over before the party to help us get ready and kept asking me if Mr. Perfect was coming.  He would not let it go.
  3. Then, when Mr. Perfect did arrive, everyone was nice to him….EXCEPT BVP, who is normally nice to everyone.  He was super aggressive when he was talking to Mr. Perfect and he kept saying confrontational things.  I think Mr. Perfect didn’t pick up on it, but for a few minutes there I thought BVP was going to challenge him to a fight.  Seriously…he asked Mr. Perfect what he does for work and thought Mr. Perfect said “fine.”  In the snappiest voice ever, BVP said “I mean, I’m sure you are fine, but I asked what you do for work.”  Mr. Perfect just looked at him kind of funny and said “I said finance.”  I swear, my head was whipping back and forth, like I was watching a tennis match.
  4. The next day, he added me on Facebook and asked me to send him a picture I had taken.  It was on my phone, so I said I could text it to him, and he keeps sending me flirty text messages now.
  5. Also….last night, I got 7 messages in a row on the online dating site from him even though he has multiple ways to contact me….seems pointed…

Now, BVP is incredibly nice.  Cute even (though pretty short).  He is the kind of guy I wouldn’t typically go for, but might under certain circumstances…..except….he’s in the Reserves.  OF COURSE.  I’m not really sure what it is with me and military dudes, but I sort of promised myself I wouldn’t date any current military personnel ever again.  It’s bad enough that Mr. Perfect is a retired military man….

The other “how do I know”

Everyone has to deal with the normal “how do I know” questions when embarking on a new relationship.  “How do I know if this is just lust or something more?”  “How do I know how he feels about me?”  “How do I know he is the one?”  And so on…

As a survivor of rape (I can practically hear your collective “gasp”, but if I can’t be honest on here, where can I be?), there is another “how do I know” question that is constantly on my mind, whether I am on the first date or the 30th.  “How do I know when it is the right time to tell him?”  I always feel as though it is too soon to tell “him” and then suddenly, it feels too late.  I used to tell men as a way of judging their character, as though the way they reacted was a good indicator of whether or not I wanted to be with them.  It isn’t.  It just isn’t a fair moment to judge someone.  More recently, I got tired of telling people.  It is exhausting and people often react badly, leaving me feeling as though I need to support them.  Except for the most recent major player (Rat-Bastard), I haven’t told anyone in the last few years.  The thing is, no one is ever going to get to really know me unless they know.  It is a major part of who I am and who I have become.  I certainly dealt with it and no longer think about the events every day, but the fact of those events is present in my life every minute of every day.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately in relation to the fact that I will now be dating people who don’t already know me well.  (Having lived in a small town for quite a while, many of the people I previously dated had known me for years.)  Well, to be honest, I am mostly thinking about it in terms of Aaron.  (See previous posts.)  We have been on four dates and text all the time.  While it feels like it might be a little too soon, I am worried that it will soon seem too late and that I will just let the opportunity to tell him slip away.  In order to “take a risk,” like one of my readers so wisely suggested, I feel like I need to be very open and honest and let him actually get to know me.  And, give him a chance to run away if it seems like too much for him, not that I think he would.

Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to have a tattoo on my forehead that announced it to the world.  “I am a three-time survivor of rape.”  It would make everything much more straightforward.  Then people would know from the beginning and could feel more free to ask questions about it.  It is even hard to tell friends.  Since it was a relatively long time ago, it seems weird to bring it up to new friends in the beginning, and then like it is way too late.  Just like with men.  And female friends, while sometimes sympathetic, tend to have wildly different reactions.  You never can tell before you “tell”.

In all my thinking about it over the last few weeks, I think I have come to a conclusion.  When I want to tell him, I will.  I have a feeling that might be soon.  Of course I will wait to tell him in person; it isn’t something that should be shared via text.  But I do feel the need for him to know.  If it makes him nervous to be with me or makes him not want to get to know me, then he is someone I could never be with anyway.

As for my friends, those who read this and didn’t already know will know now.  Please feel free to talk to me about it.  And I’m sorry I didn’t tell you in person, please don’t take it as a sign of disregard or distrust.