Too many mental tabs open today.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A world of difference

Sometimes when I think back at the decisions I've made I get a headache. What turns that headache into a migraine is when I make the same stupid decision over and over. It's like that expression "Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me" although I do love the George W. Bush version: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." Sorry, I had to put that in for a laugh, I can't help but think of it every time I say the actual phrase.

It's true though, every time I repeat a mistake it's my fault and my fault alone. I'm not here today to write about how stupid I am, or to rehash a bunch of idiot moves that fail to show me in my best light. This morning I had a conversation with D about this evening's plans. First it was the back to school picnic, an event that is dreaded by the adults in our house, sure it's fun for K, she gets to run around and play with her friends while we are forced to sit there amongst parents who pretend to like each other. At least we don't bring food anymore. I made a rookie mistake the first picnic and filled a basket with goodies that sat uneaten while K went off with her friends and D and sat around feeling like outcasts. Last year I brought no food and the plan was to let her play for a while and then go out to dinner. This year we're going to skip it entirely (although K is not yet aware of this plan). I told D that I think I had made plans with a friend (and fellow stagemom) to meet for a while in the evening. Here's the thing: I don't like to go out at night, actually that's not completely true, I do not like to go out at night without my family. When I was vague about my plans D knew it was just me deciding how I was going to get out of it. Then he got on me for that. He told me that we'd work something out so he can stay with K and that I was going. End of story. When I started my protest he actually said "Nope, you're going, I demand that you out and have fun with your friends."

I love my husband.

This conversation took me back to my previous life with Starter Husband. His job in television ad sales was extremely social, in fact about ninety percent of it was entertaining. There were lunches, dinners, no-host parties, concerts, baseball games, weekend trips, in fact if it involved people, they did it. They also did it without partners, at least Starter Husband did it that way. I was invited to go along only sometimes. Most of the time I was home and left to my own devices, which would have been fine except my devices were only allowed to be the ones that kept me home and alone. I rebelled and started making my own friends, he was not happy with that and ultimately it ended our marriage. My best friend at the time was a girl named S, a girl who I met through Starter Husband who actually encouraged the friendship and introduced us. That's when he thought she was a lonely girl with no friends. Turns out she had lots of friends who ended up becoming my friends, the problem was they were all guys. Suddenly S was not a desirable social partner for me. I remember his take on this too, he loudly proclaimed "married women should not hang out with single people." He repeated this mantra over and over up until the day I moved out.

I loved my new friends, they liked to go out and see bands play, they went to all the cool bars and they knew how to have fun. This was all acceptable when we all went out together but when Starter Husband was busy and I went out, it was hell. I started going out more on purpose, like an angry teenager rebelling against strict and overbearing parents. I finally felt like I met my "LA people" after years of hanging with Starter Husband's business acquaintances. There were a few of those that had also become my friends and he would react in the same negative way if we went out without him. Like I said this behavior ended our relationship and after a few years of this I walked out the door.

That, of course, made me gun shy and I knew that one of the demands I had for the next guy would be to have no issue with me going out. I dated a bunch of guys all of them knowing that I had a life and other friends and that some of these friends were single. When I met D I told him about my posse immediately. I told him that we often watched football games, went to concerts and spent time together. He was happy to meet a girl with that kind of male energy, he especially liked the football part. As time passed and we went from casual to serious my desire to go out faded and suddenly spending time at home was preferred over going out.

Then I had a kid and spent a few years at home, partly due to my complete and utter exhaustion. Another place for the blame was the lack of available friends. The single ones had no interest in hanging with a mom but I didn't blame them, I had no interest in hanging with moms either.

So now it's a few years later and I have plenty of opportunity to go out but little desire to do so. Sure, once I'm out I have a great time but getting there is a battle. Not the battles I used to fight with Starter Husband but the internal struggle of stepping out of my comfort zone. It was funny to me earlier when D said he was demanding I go out and have fun. More than a lifetime ago I heard the same words except they were demands to stay home.

I was a good girl tonight, I went out and had fun, just as I was told. I never once looked at my watch and worried about the time. I just enjoyed the time with friends. I have to remember to listen to my husband more often.

Funny how things can change.

I'm no fool.

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