This week has been hell. I am taking Thursday and Friday off from work. Now just because I have a 3 day work week, does not mean I have a 3 day work load. I still have a crap load of things I have to get done before I can leave the office tomorrow. I have been bringing work home every night, in addition to shuttling the kids to activities. I have not packed anything. I am not even sure that all the clothes I need will be clean. Hell I am not even sure what the weather is going to be like in Internet City this weekend. K have been pretty good this week. A little but of grumbling, but not too bad. I think she is hoping I find some happiness pretty soon. Maybe she figures that if I can get my shit straight (no pun intended) then I can get the hell out of her hair. The other night we (me and K) did talk about my trip. Once, she was younger, she took a trip to Internet City (Back before Al Gore invented the Internet) and we talked about some of the places she thought were cool. Expect for about 10 min on Monday morning I have not really talked to Internet Guy. He has his own activities and kids to deal with too. So he understand where we are coming from. Even so, I would prefer to have a little more time to chat. Oh well. I do not really know the plan for this trip. IG has been keeping that pretty close to the vest for now. Here is what we know. I will be arriving mid-morning. He will meet me at the airport, we will pick up a rental car and head to a major National Park, with the plan to be there before sunset. I really want to get some sunset pictures. After that, I am not sure what the plan is. We have decided not to book hotels in advance and just see where we end up. I can get to hotels.com on my Blackberry, so we should be in good shape. It's an adventure. Boy is it. Every part of this is an adventure for me. I am not the type that plans every detail of everything, but have never been that far from home without at least knowing where I was going to sleep that night. I am ready for an adventure. If I am very lucky, it will begin the adventure of a lifetime!! Wheels up in just under 30 hours.
1 a: a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action b: the act of looking forward; especially: pleasurable expectation
2: the use of money before it is available 3 a: visualization of a future event or state b: an object or form that anticipates a later type 4: the early sounding of one or more tones of a succeeding chord to form a temporary dissonance
In about 120 hours I will be in the Atlanta airport waiting for my connecting flight to Internet City. That flight will last just over 4 hours. The drama queen in me wants to say that when I land I will meet my destiny, but I think that sounds a little over the top.
I am sure that I will meet a great guy that I have developed real and deep feelings for. As I have said before I need to meet him in real life to see if the feelings are really real. To see if there is a connection when I look into his eyes. I think that is very important.
I need to know if there is a physical attraction. I mean if I get all the way you there are I get met at the airport by this middle aged, balding, fat guy, ... well... I guess that will mean he looks just like me. I'm kidding of, course, I have seen his picture and I have sent him mine, so I know what he looks like and he knows what I look like. But there is a ... something... that draws people together. Some people call it "chemistry", or "spark". I don't have a name for what I feel, but I will know it when I feel it.
I know that IG and I will have a good time during my visit. I know that we will have good conversation during my visit. I know we will deepen the connection that we developed on the telephone (thank God for rollover minutes). But will we have the spark? I sure hope so.
I am waiting with great anticipation. I know that one way or another, a new chapter in my life will begin in just under 120 hour.
Well, we are talking now. Be careful what you wish for.
Last night K and I were talking about my upcoming trip to Internet City to see Internet Guy. I have said before that she is not thrilled about me being gone for 4 days. Well last night she had anther reason to be ticked off about it.
Thursday night she plays softball on the church league. She usually does not take the kids with her, but this time she had made arrangements for one to the church youth to watch the younger ones while she played. It was a little annoying to her she had to do that, but it was not so bad. Last bight we realized that our youngest son has a baseball game on the same night.
She now has to skip the church game and bring my son to his game, which does not make her happy. But it's worse than that. Because the church league requires a certain number of women on the team, if she does not play, the team has to forfeit. This has really ticked her off.
"If I knew I had to do everything myself, I would be OK. But now that I depend on you, I have to let down my team of the boy's team." she said. (Or something like that.)
We talked about it a long time and mostly got no where.
I know that when this is all over I will make K into a divorced mom. I know that has to happen for both of us to move on. What I have been determined not to do is turn her into a SINGLE mom. I think there is a difference. I cannot be the husband she needs. But I can be the father that everyone needs. And part of that means being there for her. Giving her time to recharge. To do things that make her happy. To take the kids off her plate for a while and let her go be.
I think that I am supporting her in her journey to find her own way.
Maybe I am fooling myself.
So I have been thinking. K will find her own way. She is smart, strong, independent. I know she will be OK because she will make herself OK. I want to support her, but maybe I am not supporting her in the right way. Sometimes it makes me feel like I am making it worse for her instead of better.
We will talk more about that tomorrow.
For tonight she is on her date with AJ and I didn't want to bring it up today.
Earlier this week K and I were talking about the date get has with AJ tomorrow. She is very much looking forward to it. During the course of our conversational, she said something to the effect of, "It will nice to have a good conversation with someone."
"What? We talk all the time." I retorted.
"We have not had a deep conversation in a long time." she said.
I did not like that too much, and I did not say anything about it. But I did think about it a lot. She was right. We have not been talking much lately. I mean we talk every day, but it is transaction, roommate talking. We talk about the kids, we talk about the events of the day, but we have not talked much about what each of us think about things.
I guess for a while, I have been avoiding that topic, because that always led to her being angry with me. But that time is mostly over. It has been a long time since I have seen the angry ex-wife and more of the best friend. There has been more of a separation. While some of that is good, I cannot let us get too far apart.
Our relationship has changed. Of course that is a good thing and it needs to happen. It is continuing to change, that too is a good thing, but I thing it also needs some care and feeding. I think that I need to make an effort to reconnect with her. Not as a husband, but as her best friend. Really more than that. We are family. Gay or straight. Married or not. We are family. Because of our situation, I cannot leave that relationship to chance.
So on Friday she will have a night out with AJ. Hopefully he will connect with her on a level that I cannot. I will see if she wants for us to go out on Saturday and we can connect where we can.
Maybe I will take her to the mall. I don't really like shopping, but where else does a straight woman go with her gay best friend?
I am finding that as I have less boo hooing to do, the less I have to write, or at least I do not write as often as I used to or would like to.
There are many time that I do not have tie to do any boo hooing. I have a lot going on. I have a good job that keeps me busy not only during the day, but many evenings too. (I bring work home) I have 4 kids and that is a lot of running around in itself. Two of those kids are playing baseball, of course on different teams). This is not to mention homework for all 4 of them during the week.
K has been working 2 or 3 nights a week so I have to deal with dinner and bed time on my own. I don't mind doing it, after all it is part of the parenthood gig, right?
I have reestablished contact with T. I called him early last week, and we talked for almost an hour. He noted that we spoke longer during that conversation than we usually talked when we were boyfriends. I had to admit he was right. He was not snotty about, and said he was not angry. I take him at his word. In any case, it was nice to talk to him, and I realized I had missed it. We do not talk every day, but as our new friendship develops, I suspect we will talk more often.
I am 10 days away from my departure to Internet City to meet Internet Guy. It seems both T and K think it will be nothing but a non stop sex fest. While I will admit that I am interested in ...um ... well ... you know, but that is not my primary reason for going. There are plenty of naked guys here, I do not need to fly half way around the world for a little action. I am taking this trip for really one reason. Do IG and I click. Will the spark that I hope is there really be there? I hope so. And I hope he things there is enough of a spark to make him think he wants to be with me.
He is looking for a sign from God. His faith is very important to him and he believes he is in tune to hear when God speaks to him. K calls it her gut. T calls it ESP. (I call it ESPN.) What ever they call it, I think it is rally the same thing. It is something outside themselves that is guiding them. I don't know if IG will hear what he is expecting, but I think I am more anxious about it than he is.
On another note, K and her new man (lets start calling him AJ) are making progress. They have finally articulated to each other that they are interested in each other. Again I am not going to go into the detail of her relationship with him in this blog except to say that they are each pleased with the slow progress they have made with each other. In the end, if AJ can help K feel less lonely, and a little happier, then I am all in favor of it. They got to spend some time together this weekend, and from the stories she told me, I think I will like him too. (No not that kind of liking you sicko.) He seems like a nice guy, who puts his daughter first, himself second. He and K seem to have a good time together. She seems happier, which makes me happier.
I sat in an all day meeting for work today. Something happened during this meeting that made me wonder why I ever thought I could pull off pretending to be straight. One of the presenters for the session was a guy I had seen around the office. I have also seen him at the YMCA where I work out. He is, maybe, a little younger than me and is really good shape.
When I see a good looking man I always look at several things. His face. Good looking facial features are nice. His butt. Yes, I am a butt man. His (gasp) crotch. You never know when you will see something nice. Today, I did.
I sat in the second row and presenter guy stood right in front of me a lot. He paced some too. I'm not sure if he was wearing underwear, and I am sure he was circumcised. Just below his fly, to the right, was the clear outline of the head of his ... Well, you know.
I could not stop looking at it. After about 15 min of trying not to look like I was looking at this guys manhood, while I was looking at his manhood it hit me. I am so gay.
I mean really. What was I thinking all those years of denial. I think straight guys might check out other guys in the locker room, but I doubt they stare like I was. Since I have been staring a other guys like this for years, how did I ever get as deep in denial as I was.
Be good and you will be lonesome Be lonesome and you will be free Live a lie and you will live to regret it That's what living is to me That's what living is to me - Jimmy Buffett
I like Jimmy Buffett. Shortly after we got married I dragged K to a Buffett concert kicking and screaming and about 4 hours later she became a full fledged parrot-head too.
I always have enjoyed his music, but until recently I have not really paid that not much attention to the words. Jimmy has a unique way for looking at the world and sometimes it resonates with me. The words of this particular song is resonating with me.
"Live a lie and you will live to regret it" Boy, is that true.
Bear me out commented on my last posting, saying that he has stopped looking back at the things he could have done differently. I think he is right and I am working to move in that direction, but it will take some time for me to get there.
I don't know if I have any younger guys who read this. The guy who is still in the closet, but has not married or seriously dated a woman. If I was to counsel that guy, I would tell him to come out of the closet today. Yes, there might be come consequences if his friends and family are not gay friendly, but DON'T LIVE THE LIE!! You WILL live to regret it.
I am glad I am not living a lie anymore. I still have a way to go to be fully authentic, but the hardest part is over. I am well on my way.
I waved good bye to my parents this morning. We had a really nice visit. I know the kids had a good time with their grandparents.
Before they left this morning, my father gave each of my kids a crisp $10 bill. My daughter (who is 5) immediately ran up to her room and put it with her "treasures". Later she told me, "I don't ever want to give that money away. Papa gave it to me for special." How cute is that? I'm weak from the cuteness!!
K was good with my parents, even if she was a little more quiet than usual. She did her normal activities, which meant that she was out of the house most evenings. It was OK by me, and I think it helped her to be away. She did mention that she was not happy about pretending to be a "happy family". I told her that since my parents knew everything , she did not have to pretend anything. I can see how being with my family could be uncomfortable for her.
We will seen my parents again in July, when we all travel up to where they live. Me and the kids are already looking forward to that trip.
K and I took the kids to church. Then she went to see her horse, before heading back to church for work. It was a normal Sunday afternoon. My big project today it to work on my taxes. Yes, I know I am waiting until the last minute, in fact should be working on them right not, rather than this.
K told me yesterday that she is feeling that all of her life has been a lie. Of course, she is right. I chose to lie about myself (and to myself). I sold that lie to her and everyone else. Now that the lie has fallen apart, she is in the shit. I can't really blame he for being upset about it.
I called over to Emerging Identity and he was no help at all. He told me, correctly, that the lie was not all my fault. There are many factors that drove me to lie. Such as the pressure to stay in the closet that a 17 year old boy would have felt in the late 1980's. He is right, but it did not help me at all. While it should be liberating to be able to share the blame for my problem, who do I share it with? Jerry Falwell? The priest at the church I grew up in? How does that help?
Now if I could split some of the blame with K, because, say, she turned me gay, that would be sweet. I could turn the lie back on her and we could share the blame. It would be both of our faults. But I can't do that. She is blameless. She had nothing to do with it. Just like the kids had nothing to with it. Both innocent of my lie. Both victims of my lie.
I suppose sharing the blame with Jerry Falwell helps to explain why I lied. At the time I felt it was what I had to do to survive in a straight world. It wasn't to be intentionally deceptive. That helps a little, but not much.
In the good news column, they new guy she is interested in, has gotten permission from his daughter to start dating K. I think it was cute that he asked her. The daughter is one of the players on the team K coaches so they already know each other. The other thing that is cool, is the other guy knows about me and the nature of my close relationship with K and it is OK with him. That is important to both her and me.
They had a sort-of-date (K, new guy and daughter) last night that went really well. It is way too early to tell if this could grow into something serious, but it is a good start. We'll see. I doubt I will write much about that relationship since, it's her thing and does not really involve me .. much.
Kids go back to school tomorrow, so it will be even more "normal" for us tomorrow.
I am taking time for some family activities. My parents are here visiting. They live far away and used to visit 2 or 3 times a year, but since my dad has gotten sick, they have not been here in a couple of years. The kids are super excited they are here and I am too. K is doing OK with the visit, but it is kind of a reminder to her that her own family sucks so bad.
I had breakfast with my mom this morning and filled her in on the goings in my life. She sometimes reads this blog, but she told me that she has not been reading it. I told her about how T was cheating on me with a Mexican porn star so I had to dump him. (just kidding) I told her how T and I broke up and how we are starting to build a friendship. I told her about Internet Guy and how I am going to visiting him at the end of the month. I told her about the farm property that we are looking at and the debate in my head if I should move with K or stay in this house and get a roommate.
Of course she is concerned about me and wants me, the kids and K to be happy.
I am taking a couple of days off from work to hang out with my parents and my kids. K is mostly doing her own thing. She is not excluded, and I include her in everything, but there are some other things she wants to do. I am not pushing her to do anything. All I am doing is letting her know she is welcome if she wants to join in.
T- 21 days and counting on my trip to Internet City.
There is a place not far from my house that does bull riding every Sunday night from April through November. It is a local place, but the rides are sanctioned by what ever body sanctions these type of events. K and I took the kids there for the first time last 4th of July. In addition to the bull riding, they had fireworks too.
K thought it was awesome. I didn't like it as much. Yes, there was a lot of eye candy around (young, athletic men in tight jeans) but I did not really have a good time. I felt out of place. There were a lot of families there and I did not get the impression that this was a gay friendly crowd. It is not someplace I would have felt comfortable taking T or Internet Guy on a date. (It would have been worse for T, since he might have been the only non-Caucasian there.)
K loves it. She is a horse and rodeo kind of girl and she loves being around that kind of atmosphere.
Today was the opening day of the season and K really wanted to go. She had lined up several girl friends to go, but they all backed out. She really wanted to go and I think she really wanted me to go with her, but she did not come out and ask me to. She knew I did not want to go. In the end, she went alone.
On the one hand, I feel bad that I let her go alone. I feel a little like a bad friend. On the other hand, this is one of those separations things that we need to do. There will have to be things we do on our own. I plan on attending the next pride event in the nearby city. I will not ask K to come with me and if I did, I doubt she would go. As time goes on, there will be more things we will do on our own. That is as it should be, even though it is a little lonely.
I got a few text messages from her. She loved being there, but was lonely.
Me: I'm glad you like it there, but sorry you are lonely. I feel out of place there.
K: Why do you feel out of place? You're not wearing a rainbow shirt and no one would know.
Me: I would know.
She is right. I am the straightest gay guy you have ever met. Well ... almost. I am not a big sports fan and am not athletic, but other than that, I am a pretty manly guy. No one knows I am gay unless I tell them. The few people I have told are all surprised. In the end, it does not matter if anyone else knows I am gay. I know.
This is really the crux of what is driving me out of the closet. I know I am gay. I want people to know. Once they know I can be myself. I stop worrying about what I say, or how I react to what others say. People know who I really am and they can accept me or not. If they do, great. If they don't, they are are of no consequence to me.
I don't think K really understands, but I don't expect her to. I would not expect any straight person to really understand. Of course she is "understanding" but there comes a point when she can only imagine what I am talking about.
I have been writing about how I have been feeling pretty good lately, and I have. But it is not like everything has been resolved overnight, since I talked to the pastor and I starting falling for Internet Guy.
Today was a hard day for K. I don't know exactly what was on her mind, but she was pretty cranky today. She told be again that she is losing patience with me, but I don't know exactly what that means. No matter what it means, I am feeling bad about it. I just don't feel good when she is upset.
I know that I cannot control how she feels. I know that am not responsible for anyone's happiness, but my own. Of course anyone that knows me, know I just don't feel that way. Her happiness is important to me. It just is. It always will be.
I think there is a level where she is upset that I will be going to visit IG at the end of the month. I really just think it is more about be leaving her alone with the kids for a few days rather then where I am going or who I am seeing. I think the idea that I am on a vacation and she is going to have to deal with the kids alone irks her. On the one hand I don't blame her, but on the other hand, I would not do that to her. Twice she has flown out of state to visit a friend for a long weekend. Both times in encouraged her to go. On of the times, I actually purchased the ticket for her.
This fall she will turn 40. She is thinking about taking a cruise for her birthday. I think she should. Whether she goes with a male or female friend (or more than a friend) I think she should go. I know she will have a good time. Will it be easy for me to be here with the kids on my own? No, of course not. Will I let her know that? No, of course not. I want her to have a good time. I don't want her to worry about what is happening here. I want her to take the time for herself and have a little fun.
She is not the kind of person who takes time for herself. There is an element of look-how-hard-I-work to it, but that is not all of it. Bottom line, co-dependent or not, when she is not happy, no one is happy. Right now, I am not happy.
There is a lot of other stuff going on too:
1. The kids are off from school next week and my parents are taking the occasion to come a visit. It really is a big deal. They have not been here is a few years, since my dad got sick. Without going into details, he has a lot of problems that, by themselves might not be so bad, but he has several at the same time. None are enough to kill him, but together, they are making his life miserable. Lately he has been feeling pretty good and stable, so they are going to make the 2 day drive here. The kids are very excited. K and I will spend the weekend cleaning the house and making sure everyone has a place to stay. They will be there for 7 days.
2. The day after my parents leave, K's sister, her 3 kids, K's mom and maybe her dad will be here. They will stay about 5 days, then return home. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but K's family is crazy. No, it's not just me that thinks that, K thinks so too. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Her parents were her for Thanksgiving last year and that visit went really well. We will have to see how well this one goes. I am holding my breath and they won't be here for a week and a half. Yikes!!
3. I continue talk to IG every day. Sometimes it's for just a short time. This is a very bust time for him a work and he has been putting in a lot of extra hours. Add that to the 3 hour time difference, and it it sometimes difficult for us to connect. 4 weeks from tonight I will be spending my second night with him.
4. T broke his silence this morning. I was at work, in a meeting, when my phone rang. I almost hit the ignore button without looking to see who it was. When I did check, I saw T's smiling picture on the screen. Even when we were dating, it was unusual for him to call at this time, he is usually getting ready to open his business. I stepped out of the meeting to answer his call.
It was REALLY good to hear his voice after not talking to him for so long. He told me that he was OK now. He said I should feel free to call him whenever I wanted. I told him I was glad to hear that, and I would certainly call him. We did not talk long, maybe less than a minute, I knew he need to open the business and I needed to get back to my meeting.
I did not call him today, but I will over the weekend. It will be nice to reconnect and see how our friendship will be built over time. I suspect it will begin over the fire pit he built in his back yard, not that the weather is turning warmer and the leaves are growing on the trees.
Over all, I am still content (happy is too big a word) and things are largely going the way I want them too. That said, I got a reminder today, that there are still outstanding problems to be worked on.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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