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8:08 p.m. - 2013-06-21
The New Boss is NOT the same as the Old Boss!

I've seen a few movies with her recently. I also know the ballsy move she made to score her role on 'That 70s Show' and admire it A LOT. And I can forgive hooking up with Ashton Kutcher (who I can't help but like even though he was a complete douche to Demi Moore) so if I have a girl-crush on Mila Kunis right now. She's tough and funny and smart. I like that in anybody.

I think about it occasionally. The big 'What if..'. What if I had said, "Yes" to the first person to ask me out after the ex and I split up? What if I'd gone out with the deputy building inspector and we'd fallen in love? I think I could have jumped the fence and left my heterosexuality behind for her. Physically it'd be no problem, women are gorgeous. Delicious. The deputy building inspector? She's stone beautiful. I believe I could have gotten the hang of being teamed up with someone who's as complicated as I am. Dealt with the cyclic whoopsie-doodle and the multi-layered emotional construct. Both of us doing the menopause thing simultaneously might have made life really rocky for a while, truth. But it would have smoothed out. As far as traditional gender shit goes, she's lipstick, I'm lipstick, we'd have figured how to trade off the 'guy' stuff like car repairs and chasing off burglars. The real sticking point? The thing that would have had me running screaming toward the first penis-owner I saw?

The music.

I fricken loathe Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls. Seriously. That moan-y, groan-y, stream of consciousness 'just a chick and her guitar' crap makes me crazy.

Tried watching 'The L Word' on Netflix a couple months back and I had to quit after four episodes. I couldn't deal with the goddamn soundtrack.

Phuh, I know it's goofy. Sue me. But music is important. And Lesbian music makes me barf.

This and a convo with Miss Steph got me thinking about relationship deal-breakers.

No relationship is without its compromises and trade-offs. Children are a big one. Want any? How many? Co-sleeping until jr high or a crib in another wing of the house with a baby monitor? Kids are enormous deal-breakers. Money. Spender? Saver? Maxed-out cards and a ton of life experiences or debt-free and thrifty in the now? Time. How much time together is enough? And how much time apart is too much?

Example: Mick has an aunt who lives in the San Gabriel mountains outside of Los Angeles. She works at a wildlife rehab center. Auntie D's 'child' is a mountain lion who did a stint in the rehab center recovering from an accident with a car. Now her 'kitty' lives with her in a specially built enclosure on the big mountainside property where Auntie D has a very luxe civilized cabin. Now the thing about Auntie D is that she is also married. Her husband works in LA proper. The commute in from the mountains every day would be imposs so Harry lives in a condo close to his job during the work week and he goes to the cabin and Auntie D on the weekends. Sometimes Auntie D spends a few days in the condo, mostly to shop for clothes or buy supplies for the rehab center, but it's rare. Their marriage works just fine. They've been together for over 20 years. The time apart during the work week hasn't made a ding in their union. Quite the opposite, each is doing the work they love, their time together is voluntary and joyful. It works. For them.

The convo with Miss Steph was about my ex. In my dreams when I am married the guy in question is always my ex. I have had Mick dreams but his role is never Husband. If Mick is in my dreams he's there as his own person. Good, bad, whatever. When my dreams require a Husband it's always Mike who shows up. I used to fret about this. As a Freudian/Jungian I take my dreams seriously. But the ex filling the role of Husband in my nightworld is just habit. Mike was my husband for over half my life. If surprised into giving my phone number I start to cite the phone number I had for over 20 years too. Habit.

Steph asked if I get along better with my ex better these days. Of course I do. Why? He's no longer where I hang my heart. I make happy chat with absolute strangers on trains, it stands to reason I can converse with my ex. We had a life. I know his shit. He knows mine. I've known him since before he could grow a mustache and he's remembers when I could go bra-less. We're easy with each other. But only just so far. What ended our marriage was me finally admitting to myself I couldn't rely on him for anything. Nothing. Not money. Not to show up on time. Not to give a flippin' fuck about anything I might need. Sure, I can (and do) shoot the breeze with him about his folks and catch up on the doings of people who'd been my family for a quarter century. How that BIL is feeling. Whether his grandmother is doing okay in the old bats' home. But if I need the ex to care? Not a fucking chance. This is the guy who stepped over my prone and bleeding bod on the kitchen floor and fixed himself a sandwich. I never lose sight of that.

Mick? My darling mannie? He's already chafing because I won't let him come to the cardiologist with me on Tuesday. But he won't give me any shit about it.

Mick respects my boundaries. He understands I might need time to process. Settle myself with whatever might come next before I go to him and cry (or laugh). Mick gets it that despite being someone's child until 18 and then the ex's wife for 25 years that essentially I have always been on my own. I need space and some time when I have to figure things out. As much as he wants to swoop in and do for me Mick gets it. He understands me. Or he tries to anyhow. And that counts for a lot.

This man wants to do right by me. I matter to him! As I never, ever, ever mattered to my ex.

Mike the ex and I have a past. We have time in. Kids together. And the common memories of shared experience. At least on the surface. But only on his terms.

With Mick? We're still figuring things out. I shrug him off sometimes, too used to doing for myself. Too used to living in my mountain cabin on my own. Mick feels claustrophobic at times. All up in my grille and too big to bear. He's LOUD in his need and his love for me.

Not a bad thing by any means. But it is a new thing. If my dreaming mind keeps walking the ex on stage in the role of Husband I know it's just a holdover. A habit. Just like my anxiety dreams and brutal nightmares are holdovers from my life before. My night world will catch up.

Never thought that at 50 I'd still be trying to figure stuff out. Deciphering why my ex is still The Husband in my nightly psychodramas. Struggling to settle into the comfort and security of finally having a husband who adores me and wants to be there when (if) I'm going to get hard news from a doctor. And actually cares how my day went even on the days without drama.

However I'm fairly certain my marriage to Mick means I've plumped down forever as a heterosexual.

Straight but never narrow, ~LA

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