Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Awesome Boyfriend

So first things first.  I am sorry that I've neglected in my posting.  Worse off is that I'm mad at myself for not putting my foot down earlier.  It's no excuse but the foot has become to come down like a hammer and you-know-who has been dealing with it quite well, despite his co-dependency issues.  Seriously, we've been learning A LOT about one another as of late.  It will take a few posts...

So, aside of learning to juggle a boyfriend who has a way of making me feel like utter shit and guilty if I don't want to see him, I've been juggling work.  Now, let me just say that in general Steven has been completely fabulous but we were starting to have our issues.  Or, rather, it was my issues.

Awesome Boyfriend: In April I managed and implemented the grand opening of a client's store.  She left around 5p to get her hair done and didn't show up until 7:30.  The problem: the party started at 6p.  She basically left the entire event to me and I was more than a little irritated that she was an hour and a half late to her own fucking party.  Really?  Whatever.  I have Steven, two gay bfs and my social media intern extraordinaire in tote and they rocked my world that night.  It's hard to come by good people who want to work (read: volunteer) for your success, but I had them that night and I'm super grateful.

At one point I was really becoming irritated that the client wasn't anywhere to be found and vendors, who weren't on my sheet as confirmed, were popping up.  Now this is Chicago.  Unless you're a major retailer, store fronts are pretty small.  There was limited room and I was trying to be as nice as possible, answering questions I had no answers to because THE FUCKING CLIENT WASN'T THERE!  Media were tugging on my arm "Where's the owner?" "She's on her way." Guests were asking who owned the shop.  "How much is this?" How the FUCK DO I KNOW? I am not the one who should be trying to answer this question. I have two last minute vendors asking where they can set up and Steven was already standing in the midst of the mess.  "Well, we need to move this over there, pull this out, you can go there and you right here."  Sigh.  Rock on!  I turned, feeling completely confident that it was all under control by my MAIN MAN!  Later, he took brochures outside and walked the street handing them out to people, inviting them to come in.  Many of those people did come in, and when he finally did he was drenched from the rain. What a trooper!  You're SO GETTING LAID LATER!

Finally the client shows up and everyone with me knows that I'm more than a little irritated, but you can't let your client know that.  You simply have to smile and say "it's all under control."  I was relieved and filling her in on everything until someone pulled her into her office where she remained for 30+ minutes.  Seriously?  I have vendors and media asking for you.  Get your ass out of there and participate in your event! Finally she rose from the desk and came out.  I snagged her and said "Look, a lot of people have been asking for you and we need to make rounds."  We did.  She did a couple of quick media interviews and then people started leaving.  We're outta here!  I was so annoyed, happy at the success we managed to achieve, but pissed that she wasn't even there.  I switched out of my high patent leather peep toes into galoshes (might feet literally let out a sigh) and started to help everyone tear down.  Steven helped move heavy pieces back down to the basement (my man!) and we finally said our goodbyes and walked to the car.

Sensing my stress, Steven complimented the event and told me what an awesome job I did all the way back to his house, where he poured a glass of wine (to the top, I might add) and we sat outside on the front porch talking.  It really helped me relax and come back down.  That's something I always mentioned in my dating profiles is wanting someone who can bring me down after a crazy day.  Life as an entrepreneur ain't easy and I need someone who understands that and knows me. Hell, my life, the part he doesn't know about yet, ain't easy. There is constantly shit running through my mind, keeping me from sleeping at night. Steven is such an even-keeled person.  He's easy going and takes everything in stride, hardly ever getting a feather ruffled.  He's a great complement to me.  Not saying I'm crazy, neurotic or flip out easily (any more...)...."You know, I'm so happy you were there tonight.  Not only did you take over and help make things happen but you kept me calm and relaxed.  I really needed that.  Thank you."  "You're welcome, Baby." 

Next....Bad Boyfriend, Or is it Just Me?

You are totally worthy!

Over the last couple of years, I have had many moments of big, HUGE epiphanies.  (Hence, Finding Epiphany).  One of them was my daddy issues.  Every time a client walked away or I failed to achieve for them (outside factors didn't seem to matter) I immediately thought "my father will be so disappointed in me."  See, I don't know how they did it, but my parents raised my sisters and I to be well educated, strong, independent and entirely too modest for our own good.  It has always been difficult for me to accept praise and to celebrate my achievements because there was such little emphasis put on success.  On top of it, the fear of disappointing my father was instilled early on and it was, for a lifetime, the ultimate judgement on everything accomplished. 

As I grew older I realized that instead of taking a moment to celebrate my accomplishments in work and for clients, I just shoved the elation under the rug, shrugging it off like "no big deal" and quickly moving on to the next thing.  One girlfriend finally said "E, it's amazing what you just accomplished for your client.  You should be elated!" "I know, but I just can't.  This is what I do.  It's no big deal and I need to focus on the next big get for them."  "E, I really don't think you get it.  It's not being egotistical to tout and celebrate your accomplishments.  You aren't bragging.  We all want to celebrate you, as your friends.  This is a big deal. Take a moment, accept it and revel in it."  She was SO right and ever since then I put more weight on the things I'm able to accomplish and do a little happy dance when I've scored for a client.  I've come to realize that, yes, this is what I do day in and day out, but it's still major and I need to celebrate it!

Bad Boyfriend

Utter frustration!  Steve is ALWAYS late (the honeymoon is over.  The time to impress me is over.  The respect is gone. I'm now being taken for granted.  Being on time is the ONE thing that I feel is a sign of respect of some one's life and time.  His tardiness is really starting to irritate me.  "Can't you text and let me know you're late?"  "Sorry, baby, I just got caught up in something." "All I'm asking for is a text."), he never remembers ANYTHING - even if it only matters to him (it's amazing he gets up for work every morning) and worse I feel like this entire relationship is based on what HE wants.  There's no consideration for me what's so ever.  It feels like it's totally on his terms and only on his terms.  I know he doesn't mean to do this, but boy it sure feels that way from where I'm sitting. The most annoying part? He wants me to take care of him like his mother!  Seriously?  I didn't sign up to have a child.  I want a life partner.  A bonafide grown-ass man!  Don't call me mommy.  I'm not your mommy!  "Well, don't you like taking care of me?"  "Sure, but this is what a couple does for one another.  It's because you care, not because I want to be your mother!" "Okay, Mommy."  Errrrr!  See???  Frustration!

Recently, Steve and I have been having some conversations about faith and my desire to go to church.  Just when I've reached a good point of compromise, and feel he has as well, he announces, out of the blue, while sitting on his front porch, that he can't live with a cat.  Can't have one in his house.  "Why?" "Because of all the fur and dust." Seriously?  Seriously.  That's you're reason?  "Well, unfortunately Meow Mix is part of the package with me.  Didn't you read my online profile? I was very open and honest about who I am and what I bring to the relationship.  Or did you just see some nice photos?" Actually, he probably doesn't remember what I had in my profile.  I swear he has early onset Alzheimer's.  "Yes, I read your profile." Hmmmm.  "At some point you are going to have to make compromises.  A relationship can't be on your terms only."  He said nothing and stared out to the street.

This really bothered me and I knew I had to bring it up again, but it took almost a week to find the time, alone to mention it.  So, it was, after an awesome evening running errands, talking and laughing we finally end up at his house having a late dinner.

E: "So, can I ask you something?"
S: "No.  If you're going to ask me something, do it."
E: "Okay, Let me ask you something.  We had a conversation last week that has really been weighing on me.  Are you serious about the cat thing?"
S: "Yes. I don't want all that fur and dust in my house."
E: "You realize she's part of the package?  I can't imagine anyone who loves me, cares about me or even KNOWS me would ask me to send her packing."
S: "Let me put it this way, my last girlfriend, I loved, and I wouldn't have cared if she had a cat or not."
E: Ouch! He clearly doesn't feel the same way about me that I do him.  I've been willing to make compromise and he isn't.  "You don't feel that way about me?"
S: "I'd like to get there."
E: Sigh....tears are welling up.  Time to cut this convo off.  I take one big gulp to finish my wine, set it on the table and say, "It's late, we should go to bed."

I head directly to the bathroom and let the tears go while he does dishes in the kitchen.  I cry hard and fast, wash my face, brush teeth and head to his bedroom where I changed into my t-shirt and crawled in bed.  Steve joins me about 10 minutes later.  After changing his clothes, he crawls in bed and wraps his arms around me.  I have to say it. I roll over to face him, "I would never do to you what she did to you."  "Huh?"  "Your ex who lied and cheated on you.  I would never do that." "I never thought you would."  "I guess I feel that at our age, after four months maybe you should know whether you want to be with someone or not."  Silence. Great. I roll back over my back facing him.  He removes his arms and instead pulls his legs up behind mine, spooning me.

I was SO hurt by what he said, and I KNOW that I was simply interpreting what he said as it affected me.  Steve could never say anything to purposely hurt me.  Time to call reinforcements: the BFF.

E: "So, what do you think?" after I explained the entire situation.
BFF: "Yep, that all sounds about right.  My hubby is the same.  Hell, all men are the same. But I love hubby and that's just how it is.  I've come to learn that men and women just don't think the same.  I'm always thinking of hubby.  For instance, I always turn the porch light on for him when he's out and I've gone to bed.  I used to get frustrated asking him to do the same and he never would.  Doesn't he care about me?  It's just a nice gesture.  He's never going to leave the porch light on but I know he loves me and it's not for lack of that.  He simply just doesn't think about it.  As far as the cat situation, it's clear to me that he wants to fall in love with you, he's just not there yet.  Give it some time and let it happen.  He will and the whole situation will be moot."

Sigh..she's totally right.  How nice to know I'm not alone and not crazy.  I really was beginning to question if this relationship was right for me.  With that said, another trusted friend said "E, you and I are masters of self-sabotage.  You're scared and making a mountain out of a mole hill.  I think you need to step back, not say anything any more and let your relationship happen."  Thanks, girls.  You're both totally right.

The next few days were not easy.  Typically when Steve and I are in the car, he grabs my hand.  Nada.  Not even near touching me.  In fact, he wasn't even trying to kiss me or be affectionate in general.  This is a problem.  Something is definitely up.  I keep things light and don't bring up anything!  I swear, I didn't.  Then one night we were hanging out at my house and I made my move.  Maybe we need some make up sex. And I couldn't have been more right.  A little sexual healing goes a long way and the next night when he picked me up after work, his hand reached out to mine in the car and held it the entire ride.