The one where I realize: I’m happy

Joshilyn arrived yesterday afternoon with Sam and Maisy in tow, and Monkey and Sam were LITERALLY engrossed in a discussion of the finer points of various Pokemon beasties before the door had even shut behind them. For a couple of glorious hours, Joss and I got to sit and relax and chat while Chickadee dressed Maisy in a variety of her outgrown clothing and generally led her around like a wee and precious pet lamb, and the boys bounced off the walls upstairs (where we could hear them but not be overly disturbed by them).

I dished up dinner earlyish (Chris’ most excellent chicken curry with sweet potatoes and coconut rice, which if you have not tried you must go make RIGHT NOW because it is THAT GOOD) and the children regaled us with riddles as we ate, then we left the children and their pajamas and a movie with a sitter, and headed out to Borders.

Joss gave a great appearance, as usual, and as usual I had to restrain from blurting out to anyone I saw there, “She’s my friend! Isn’t she awesome?” Heh.

Some of my local friends came out to hear her speak, and afterwards we all came back here to the house and broke out the wine and a bucket of margaritas, because we are WILD and CRAZY, and also because if there was ever a week when I DONE EARNED MYSELF SOME LIQUOR, this was it. We all sat around and gabbed and giggled and I got to tell all of my favorite Joshilyn stories to my other friends, and Joss is of course always full of fabulously hilarious anecdotes, and we all stayed up too late and didn’t care.

I found myself relaying two very formative tales and loving Joss’ commentary.

First, I told the story of that fateful weekend when my life had completely fallen apart and was lower than low—I had been dumped, fired, and generally wrung out and was not loving life—and Joshilyn opened her home to Kira and me for a bit of Girl Therapy. I was UTTERLY CONVINCED that weekend that I would never recover from the mess I’d made of my life. No one would ever love me! I would never find a job I liked! I would die alone with a million cats who would lick my eyeballs after I expired! We had fun on that trip, don’t get me wrong, but any time there was a lull in activity I would begin weeping into my wine, telling Kira that she was so beautiful with the blush of true love (this was, I think, shortly before she and Clay got married), and telling Joshilyn that Scott was such a doll and WOE IS ME I WILL NEVER FIND MY SCOTT!

“Oh, she was PITIFUL,” Joss interjected, as I wove the sad story. “You have just never seen someone so convinced that she will never get hers. It was SAD. And I TOLD HER that her time was coming, but she didn’t believe me.”

That’s true; I didn’t.

There was also that weird time period where Otto and I first got back into touch with each other, the time that came before my first trip to see him in Georgia after we had decided to Try Again, the time that felt so unreal and impossible that I never blogged about it.

To recap: Otto and I had dated shortly after my divorce, for about a year. It ended badly. He wanted to stay friends, I wanted to stab him repeatedly with an ice pick for breaking my heart. We hadn’t spoken for a couple of years when we started emailing again about nothing in particular, and about four emails in I said “What are we doing here?”

Otto responded with what I now know to be his version of a declaration of love from a position of fear. The problem was that the email basically translated to, “I’ve thought about you every day for two years and I think you’re the one for me, but I can’t make any promises so don’t have any expectations.” I was ENRAGED. I mean, HOW DARE HE?? Joshilyn conducted many a phone therapy session with me while I crafted my response to him, a masterpiece of an email (if I do say so myself) (by the way, matters of the heart should NEVER BE CONDUCTED VIA EMAIL, learn from our stupidity, please) which boiled down to “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it I DESERVE A REAL MAN SO GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER OR GO AWAY BECAUSE I AM NOT WASTING MY TIME OTHERWISE.”

I forget how many days it was between my mail to him and when he finally responded (in his defense, he was out of town for a bit, which I knew), but I’m pretty sure I called Joss and cried every single day during that time. “I’m never going to hear from him again,” I would sob. “He opened that door and I walked in and now he’s walking away. I did the right thing but OHMYGODITSUCKS.”

“And I KNEW,” Joss announced to my captive audience of new(er) friends—who prior to this probably had not realized the extent of my many neuroses—”I knew the moment it happened. I told Kira, even. I said ‘That boy is hooked and he is gonna man up and they are going to get married.’ And I was RIGHT!”

And I had to admit that yes, she had called it, and even though she knew she had patiently endured my sniveling and pining.

This morning as Joss and the kids were getting ready to leave, she said to me, “I like your posse. You have a good group here.” And I agreed, readily and wholeheartedly. I have found My People and they will come to my house and drink margaritas and listen to stories of when I was sad and lost and ridiculous and we will laugh until we cry and email each other the next day to say how much fun we had.

My life is far from perfect, of course. Really, whose is? But I look back on those difficult times and barely recognize that person. Some of the darkest days of my life are so absurd as to be comical, now, because LOOK AT ALL OF THIS. How could I not have known? How could I have doubted?

And more importantly, how did Joshilyn even stand me? I needed a good smack upside the head.

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34 Responses to “The one where I realize: I’m happy”

  1. 1
    MomCat April 11, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    Everyone needs a friend like her! You know, maybe she did give you a smack upside the head, in her own particular…idiom. And maybe you don’t remember that it was a smack, cuz it was so patient and loving and kind.

  2. 2
    dad April 11, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    I can think of numerous times in you childhood when you needed “a good smack upside the head.” Understanding, patience, and love just work much better. And they don’t leave bruises.

    Ain’t you glad you decided to play?
    I am.

  3. 3
    jennielynn April 11, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    Sounds like Georgia is starting to be home. That is so fan-frickin’-tastic.

  4. 4
    All Adither April 11, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    Why do I find your life so fascinating? It must be the way you write it.

  5. 5
    Headless Mom April 11, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    I love that you’ve found your people. Any suggestions to find mine?

    And yes, you have a great life. Sometimes us girls just need to have a pitty party to reach the champagne toast!

  6. 6
    Kira April 11, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Four. It was four day.
    And Joss DID say that, about Otto. And then we spent a few minutes planning our…response if she was wrong about that. Smooches, Otto. Be glad you did man up. Be very glad.

  7. 7
    becky April 11, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    one of my favorite things is being able to laugh with my friends. it truly makes everything so much better. glad you’re starting to find your people and your space. :)

  8. 8
    Kira April 11, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    (to clarify) Four days between your masterful email and his response.
    Carry on.

  9. 9
    Beth April 11, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    I’m SOOOO glad you’ve found your people! And I’m so jealous of you, knowing a famous author and getting to hang out with her ;-)

    Wish I could come play with you guys!

  10. 10
    celticbuffy April 11, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    That’s so awesome that you have found your circle of friends to draw upon in Georgia! Your life reminds me somewhat of my own and I hope that my own Otto (Mr. Irony) works out as well as yours has and that our move this summer leads me to a circle of friends as your move to GA has. Have a great weekend Mir!

  11. 11
    Visionsister April 11, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    A true friend is one who will let us cry, listen to the sniveling and whining, and give us the smack upside the head we so desperately need. Treasures.

  12. 12
    Laurie from DivorcingDaze April 11, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi Mir,
    I’ve just begun reading your blog and now I have soooooo many questions. Love what you have to say and how you say it! I’ll be spending the wee hours of my morning in your archives catching up….

  13. 13
    Rebecca April 11, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    I’m new to your blog and I’m hooked! I’m so glad you had supportive friends when you needed them and that you have a great circle of friends now! And kinda off topic I love GA. I also have great friends there and I guess it’s time to make some here in FL. Anyway, love love love your blog!

  14. 14
    April April 11, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    I don’t even know how to put it in words what this post brings up for me and makes me want to cry.

  15. 15
    Megan April 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    Can I just say that a phrase about cats licking eyeballs is the blog equivalent of a ginormous, horrible traffic accident? You have to come to a screeching halt and there’s this, “oh God, did she say that? With the cats and the eyeballs and the licking?” and then you drive on very grateful that it wasn’t you but you keep. coming. back. to those goddamn cats. Thanks for my daily image of horror.

  16. 16
    MeL April 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    Isn’t it funny how it works out that way? I have this propensity to wallow in my misery and then, once in a while, you get a moment like that where you feel like life smacks you upside the head with “SEE!? Told you it would be okay!”

    Of course, by the time the next wave of misery comes ’round, I have forgotten the lesson already. BUT, it’s almost worth it just because the relearning is so very sweet when times are good…

  17. 17
    pam April 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Oh you give me hope. And I’m so glad Otto ‘man upped’!!

  18. 18
    TC April 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    “A declaration of love from a position of fear” is SO much better than what I call it when I make fun of my now-husband (of 12 years!) and his oh-so-similar issues: When You Were Being a Complete and Total Jackass.

  19. 19
    Carrie April 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    I am so glad you found your people.

  20. 20
    The Other Other Dawn April 11, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    So glad you found your Otto and your people. You deserve all of this happiness.

  21. 21
    Flea April 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    Oh Mir! You finally found the Girls you were looking for in the South! Yay!!! And I LOVE the Otto story!

  22. 22
    Scottsdale Girl April 11, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    Otto is way better than eyeball lickin cats.

    *sigh* So I am supposed to take from this post that I should CONTINUE to be PATIENT and WAIT for PRINCE CHARMING…right? Patience. OY.

  23. 23
    sophie April 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    I’m glad you have your people! I’m still waiting to find mine, but I know that I will. Sounds like a fabulous time.

  24. 24
    Heidi April 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    Oh my gosh. I looked up Chris’ most excellent recipe and took it in a whole ‘nother, non-crockpot direction. I used a mixture of four “aromatic rices” including wild rice (from Costco) cooked with coconut milk (genius!) and chicken stock. I stirred in cooked shredded chicken breast, sauteed onions and garlic, and the zest of one lemon. Did I mention Oh-my-gosh? Next time asparagus and cayenne flakes will be involved. Oh, the possibilities…

    This isn’t all about me? Oh, sorry. I AM happy that you’ve found Your People. Life is too short to not have a posse.

  25. 25
    Heather April 11, 2008 at 11:37 pm #

    I am so glad you found your People :)

  26. 26
    Cele April 12, 2008 at 3:14 am #

    Hmmm I’m gonna have to take some of this advice.

  27. 27
    Brigitte April 12, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    Ah, and revealing your inner core to your new posse will bond you all closer than ever, because they now know they are not alone in their own neuroses! Hmmm, maybe that’s why WE all like you so much. ;-)

  28. 28
    David April 12, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    It sounds like one of those storybook-perfect happenings. It couldn’t happen to nicer folks, either. Good on you all! :-)

    The best thing about it is that you’ll all enjoy it again and again, every time you remember it. Ain’t life grand?

  29. 29
    David April 12, 2008 at 10:02 pm #

    P.S. I can SO relate to Otto’s email, that love and fear part. I also laughed my butt off at your reply. Fabulous!

  30. 30
    Shannon April 13, 2008 at 12:52 am #

    There’s hope for me yet. But I’ve got to find my people.

  31. 31
    Ali B. April 14, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    I’ve got great people up here. But still, in this one moment, I wish I lived there, so we could be part of each other’s people.

    Isn’t it funny that even though I already knew the outcome, about Otto man-upping and all, I was still nervous and fluttery-stomached after reading about that email of yours?

  32. 32
    Liz April 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    You are truly blessed and I’m happy for ALL of you!

  33. 33
    Cassie April 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    This post made tears of happiness spring to my eyes. You DO have a great posse.

  34. 34
    JSEE April 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    I am getting there, slowly, 2 years out from the awful divorce and the parts of my life that I am responsible for – my job, my time and my interaction with my kids, my house, my friends, my family, my kids’ schools and their activities – are awesome (although totally exhausting, life as a working, single mother of a 4 year old and a 6 year old is totally brutal) – but the parts of my life that involve the ex are not great and continually threaten to overwhelm the whole…Hoping against hope that it gets better, that I can be happy again, free of misery with the ex, enjoy each and every second with my children, relax more with friends, find happiness with a man again, laugh easily and smile often. Must continue to hope.

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