Boston Marathon Bombing… Tragedy and New Relationships

Hey readers.

So, first off, I know it might sound cheap to tie in the Boston bombings with a dating blog. But I promise you, there’s a lot of meat to take out of this post if you’re willing to read it all. This is all very real to me. I live in one of the original towns that was shut down before the mayor locked down the whole city. We were told not to leave our houses.

[Friday, April 19th, 2013 — A Rude Awakening]

6:00 AM. I’m not even awake yet. My phone text message sound goes off. Then it goes off again. “Stay inside!!” “OMG are you okay?!?!”   …. What.  The. Fuck.

I turn on the news. I see there’s a shoot out, one of the bombers is dead along with a police officer, and he’s at large in the town next door 8 minutes away from my house. I wake up my roommate. We start freaking out. Seriously? 8 minutes away. My place of work shuts down, they tell us to work from home, etc.

And I’m watching the police and SWAT and FBI set up camp at a place I go to regularly, at an intersection I’m at several times a month, and used to be at daily. I’m seeing the pictures on Twitter and Facebook of police with big guns searching for the at-large man.

A song from a childhood TV show goes through my head:

It’s a beautiful day in the neiiiighborhood, a beautiful day in the neiiiighborhood…won’t you be my neighbor?

I realize how inappropriate this is, and I can’t believe that’s how my mind decides to process what’s going on.

Not knowing what else to do, my roommate and I ended up going to work cleaning the place because, what else are we going to do?

And so I’m watching / obsessed with all the coverage…I mean, I’m listening to scanners (until they were shut down online), I’m watching, I’m watching the news, I’m searching Twitter.

[Damsel in Distress]

I call the new man. He wasn’t up yet, and after hearing everything he goes “aww my poor damsel in distress” -but not in a mocking way. It was sweet. Later that day, he would tell me his dad suggested to him he get his gun and come be with me for the day. My personal hero.

And that’s the millionth time this week he’s been there for me. 

[What Happened This Past Sunday/The Awesomeness of Having an Alcoholic Mother]

If you read my last post, you know that on Sunday night, I got a call from my mom around 10:30 at night of her telling me she got pulled over for …whatever reason and failed the field sobriety test. I live in Massachusetts, and she already has 2-3 DUIs.

She also refused the breathalyzer. Which is about 5 years, most likely, loss of license; and also they will be trying to throw her in jail.

It’s my own mother. You only get one, and here she is possible facing jail time. It’s crushing. It’s not like she hasn’t “sobered up” more times than I can count, she just doesn’t STAY sober. 

Now, my family is an immigrant family, and I’m the oldest child. My parents are divorced, which means most of this falls on me. And let me tell you, that is a heavy, heavy cross to bear. A few years after college I tried to distance myself, but unless she as a boyfriend at the time there is nobody else to answer the calls, go to the hospitals, and basically clean up the mess she makes of her own life. (My little sister who is 7 years younger than me trie to help this time, so that was nice to have someone else on my team–but my brother, who is 2.5 years younger, always gets very angry and disappears.)

If you have ever been close to an alcoholic, you know it takes over your life when you are trying to fix theirs. 

Anyway. With the help of my therapist I managed to stay relatively uninvolved this time…so far, but it was really hard to sit and do nothing. Instead of trying to fix everything, this time I tried the concept of tough love.

And let me tell you, the new man… was amazing. He listened to me for hours on the phone, gave his own thoughts on things, and I actually found his thoughts unoffensive and caring and they added insight. In the past, when I’ve chosen to talk about my mom, a guy’s response will usually create a distance between us because I will sense that he doesn’t get it, or what the guy is saying will make me feel more alone, and not supported. Above all, I could tell my the things this man was saying and how supportive he was that he cares about me.

Actually, it was his birthday on Monday — yes, the same day the Boston Marathon bombing happened; and in the midst of the onslaught of people telling him happy birthday and his family calls / concerns about the bombing — still, he wanted to know how I was doing with what was going on with my mom. He put me first. Because he knew, my mom’s drama, and then the very next day a city-stopping terrorism act, is a lot for a girl to handle.

I have never felt so loved or cared for by someone not in my family, in my life.

At the end of the day, in regard to the marathon bombings, he said to me

I’m glad I had you to talk to. 

My heart melted.

And both of these types of events — a family member facing jail, and a terrorist act a little too close for comfort — can be “now or never” events for new relationships. They can either bring you closer, or highlight how not-close you are, and potentially push things apart because you find out, it’s not quite what it *should* be. And in this case, for the first time, I’m on the same page as someone..I have someone to talk to. I don’t feel judged, and I feel accepted. I have a “person” (Grey’s Anatomy reference). And he is emotionally intelligent enough to handle how complex my life can be with my mom, and I care for him as much as he seems to care for me.

I mean, this is someone who has qualities I want on my team. You know? You’re just like, yeah, you — you would be good to have around.

With the distance between us, even though I was not sleeping well because of what happened with my mom, the man and me weren’t planning on seeing each other til yesterday night (Friday night) anyway. Thank God we were, because, I just needed to touch him after all that. To be sure of him. You know? So, around 4 PM both my roommate and I were going completely stir-crazy, and there were a lot more cars around than earlier in the day, so she decides to go do her thing and I decide to leave early to go see my man…meaning, technically I left my house before it was OK.

About 30 mins later they lifted the lock-down, so it worked out OK (And no, I wasn’t in Watertown, or I wouldn’t have even tried it).

[Away from the City]

I get down to his place, and it’s like I’m on vacation. He lives very close to a wildlife reserve close to the cape, so it’s completely different than out here. And he has steaks going on the grill, potatoes boiling, spinach and broccoli sautee-ing, and salads started. We say our hellos and he offers me a glass of wine.

It just felt like, life came back together.

And then, before we sit down to eat, I see on his TV that they apprehended the still-living bomber. All was right with world once again, if only for a night.

So, about 90 mins after he leaves me side, the drama with my mom happens, and then the Marathon bombings; and then within 45 minutes after we get back together, they capture the bomber. … just saying.

During dinner, he happens to tell me he hasn’t made a steak dinner for a girl in a VERY long time. So that made me feel extra special. It’s things like that. He just knows how to make me feel special, I guess.

After dinner, we went to relax in his hot tub, which is beautiful and in-ground just higher than the pool. Of course, that’s not the only thing we did in the hot tub.

[The Inappropriate Part]

Reverting to my normal, slightly inappropriate self: Normally I don’t love hot tub sex. I’ve only done it a handful of times, but the motion of the water totally detracts from the motions of your bodies, but at the same time it’s such a sexy situation you can’t really turn it down. So I’m thinking, this will be fun, but kinda eh-sex-wise.

Boy, was I wrong. I don’t know how we worked it all out so that it ended up being, this much pleasure feels like I’m on drugs… and we both have some battle wounds to show for it.

[They Always Come Out of the Woodwork]

After, we were just sitting together in the warm, bubbling water talking, and the talk is just so natural. We’re talking about our “stalkers” as we call them — because it seems that events like a terrorist bombing will push anyone out of the woodwork who cares about you, even if it’s in a twisted way. 

In my case, it was a guy I’ve been hooking up with for years, who really I always thought we should date but he is veryyy commitment phobic, and last time things got a little too relationship-y and he dropped off the face of the earth from just after Valentine’s Day to yesterday. He actually said I should go over because there was strength in numbers. “Um, no.” “I was kidding.” OK…. and then a 2 am text saying I still can’t believe this shit.

In my man’s case, it was a girl he was sort of involved with before me, and had to break it off with because he just wasn’t into it, and she really was. Even told him it was OK if it wasn’t going to be anything, and a few weeks later he still broke it off because he felt bad about what was going on. This was a few months ago. Go figure. (Ladies, why do we undercut our own value like that?) She texted him today to ask if his family was OK. ??? Which he saw through in all of .5 seconds.

Him and I were talking about how nice it is to connect with each other on so many levels, and I said it is moving kind of fast but at the same time, I don’t mind it with him. It’s like a slow-fast, I don’t know if that makes sense.

Oh. OH. I forgot to mention: Thursday night on the phone the Meet the Parents thing came up. Yes, let me just recap THAT one for you…

[Let’s Play Meet the Parents!]

He is going to Maine with his fam for a week in September, right before a wedding (the one he invited me to after I invited him to one)…only this time, he asked me if I wanted to go with them for the week.


So I end up asking if I would be meeting them sometime before this Maine event so it wouldn’t be a, meet-the-family-for-the-first-time-for-a-whole-week-on-an-island, type deal.

He said he would like me to meet them, def, but no rush – they live close to him, so whenever I feel ready.

So now, we started getting together on the 29th of March. Which means it hasn’t even been a month, but we’re already talking families.

Sometimes, it just feels right, I guess. Although it seems fast, we’re both on the same page – and I guess that’s what makes it right. I don’t feel that sense of rushing things, either. It doesn’t feel like I’m jumping in the deep end. More like, when you go scuba diving — if you’re a beginner they walk you in from the shore, and you stay on the ground of the sea and suddenly they’re telling you to go back up, and you look up and realize you’re 40 feet under water. That’s how it is with this guy. Things got deep, fast. And I didn’t even notice.

[Making Love]

Back to hot tub … so we’re talking about how well things are working between us, and he’s saying he likes how we don’t HAVE to talk about us at all, it just works and we are just enjoying ourselves.  I agree with him. It just works. And how we’re both kind of impressed by how strong the physical attraction is.

For me, it’s not just like I want him, I just, like..need him. Physically. Ha. He has said more than once I make him feel like a 21 year old again.

So we start at it again… and this time it’s slow and sensual and the type of tender, emotionally-close sex that only comes after resolving a big fight or …. bonding and coming closer over national tragedies and showing someone the skeletons in your closet and having them accept you and still choose to stand by you, anyway. The kind that feels like making love.

[In Conclusion…]

310703_535246176547093_1348722104_nSo after all of this…all being, the bombings, and mentally wrestling with the idea of my mom potentially going to jail, and him being so amazingly supportive and caring… what it brought me to conclude is really what we all hear every now and then — to make the most of every day. You just don’t know how long you have, and yet we all fall into this belief that we can do whatever we want for however long we want, and we will be able to see the people we love whenever we feel like it assuming they aren’t suffering a physical health issue.

And yet. 

We just can’t keep forgetting that we really don’t know if we have tomorrow or not. Now, I don’t think anyone should live in fear … but, life really is about finding people that will be a part of your inner circle… you know what I mean, the people that make your life *worth* it. And then making sure they know that, and planning fun things that make you happy but ALSO enjoying all the small things that put a smile on your face, and trying to cram as many of those into a single day as you can (while still living responsibly, of course).

…which I guess is kind of why I started this blog. Because, until you have it, it feels like something is missing. At least it did for me. You don’t know quite WHAT is missing, but something feels…shallow. Like, not a complete existence. Don’t beat me up for saying that, I promise you I tried to make my life as full and complete as possible without a man. But I guess what I’m saying is, without love — the real, consuming, my life is all shimmery now, type of love, it feels like you’re just wading around in the kiddy pool killing time while there’s an Olympic pool full of life right next door, but you’re just not invited.

And yes, finding the right person is so difficult in some ways. Personally, I’ve definitely thought more than once about giving up on dating altogether. 

And yet.

Something always kept me fighting to find it. To find what I have with him, this man. Right now, it only exists in moments, but I am so thankful for what we have shared so far… it reminds you, of what you’re looking for. Why you try.

So my readers…if you haven’t found it yet… if you aren’t totally happy… you will, and you can be. It’s so hard to hear and believe when you’re not there, and I get that. But don’t give up. Don’t give up on giving yourself the chance to be amazed by what’s happening in your own life.

Who knows, it may not work out with this guy — I’m not a fortune teller — so maybe I’ll be back to my usual stories in a few months (I hope not!! :o) ) but this. This. THIS is what the crazy dating journey is all about.

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