Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Dear Virginia Drivers,
Because it seems that a lot of you did not take Driver's Ed in High School, I would like to fill you in on the common driving etiquette which you seem to be lacking:
I've made no secret of my past issues with my dad. He and I have never been close and there has never been that "daddy's little girl" relationship. I've realized, though, that I have been hanging on to a lot of anger.
See, this past weekend I almost lost my dad. He had a heart attack Sunday night. I found out third-hand yesterday afternoon. His wife waited until late morning and called my grandmother, who called my mom, who called me. And one of my early reactions (after learning he was stable, of course) was, "why the hell didn't that bitch call me? and why did she wait until today to let his family know?"
Whoa. I've never thought of myself as an angry person (except while driving), but I was pissed. I was hurt and angry and concerned.
While I've moved past a lot of the anger over my relationship with my dad, I clearly haven't moved past other things- such as the wedge his wife has driven between him and the rest of his family. She has made it almost impossible for him to have any kind of relationship with his family. But I have to move past that. Almost losing him was a wake up call that, while he may not have the strength to put his foot down with her and insist on spending time with his family, I can. It's up to me to make that effort. Should it be? No. But such is life.
I'm also holding on the anger in other areas of my life. I'm still very angry at the ex. In fact, everyone in my life refers to him as Douche Bag. That's his name. While this may help in that saying his actual name still hurts and I get a chuckle every time my mom says something like "remember that place that you and Douche Bag went..." it's not healthy. Negativity spreads, and the last thing I want to do is allow any more negativity into my life. Yes, he's a coward who pretty much stomped on my heart. But is that negativity helping me at all? It's certainly not helping me to get over the pain. He has clearly moved on and forgotten about me; now it's my turn to do the same. To let go. I don't know that I'll ever be able to forgive him, but I do need to let go of the anger. Besides, who is it hurting? My anger at him hasn't hurt him at all or made one difference to him, and it's just keeping me from moving on.
And there's the fact that no one wants to be with someone who is angry. I briefly dated someone who was still very angry at his ex. Scarily angry. Needless to say, it didn't last past the 2nd time he referred to her as "that bitch."
So, time to let go. I wish it hadn't taken almost losing my dad to realize it, but they say everything happens for a reason.
(side note- as of this morning, it looks like he'll be discharged tomorrow. He's still very weak, and they'll be keeping a very close eye on him. One artery was completely blocked, the other was 95% blocked. He's lucky as hell to have survived this. I only hope this was a wake-up call for him to make some changes.)
The decision to exclusively date someone has always been a mystery. Maybe I should rephrase that. The timing is what baffles me. I've read on numerous sites that the time line is somewhere around three months. Personally, I think that's a bit too long. But given my afore-mentioned inability to "juggle," it's not surprising that I prefer to date only one person at a time.
Of course, it all depends upon your specific relationship. If you and the other person only see each other once or twice a month, I would consider the three-month timeline accurate. However, I have always preferred to take myself off the market when I meet someone with which I see any potential.
That being said, I've made the mistake of jumping into that decision way too quickly- like after the first date. Big, BIG mistake. Why? Because when you inevitably realize that you don't really know that person, or that they drive you insane (or any other variety of reasons you've realized your mistake), you have to have that uncomfortable conversation. And, being that I am essentially chicken-shit, I tend to lean toward the "I'm not ready for this" cop-out.
The standard answer is "when it feels right." However, if like myself, you want it to feel right every time you like someone, it's hard to know the difference between the situation "feeling right" and my desire for it it to feel right. That is, I tend to convince myself that something is right because I want it so much.
There is also the fact that, in an age where you typically email and IM someone quite a lot (assuming you have met this person online) before even meeting. You get to know the person before you even meet them. This throws off the traditional custom of using the first several dates actually getting to know the person.
So how do you decide when to become exclusive. Damned if I know. And I still have yet to master having that conversation without sounding like I'm asking "would you like to go steady?"
In recent years, I’ve become more and more superstitious when it comes to dating. And my (single) friends seem to be as well. We now have this unspoken rule that when we go out on a great date with a guy who has actual potential, we don’t talk about it. The conversation typically goes as follows: