Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down
We make a little history, baby
Every time you come around
The Ship Song : Nick Cave
It’s been months since I’ve written here and for that, I’m really sorry. While I absolutely chat with everyone regularly on the Good Girl Confessional Facebook page, and I love it, I haven’t sunk my teeth into a juicy, confessional style post in months. What’s with that?! Recently several friends have rightfully pulled me up on it and asked me where was all my saucy news from the world of online dating…I realised that I have so much to spill but have been working on other projects, so with the encouragement (and stern talking to’s) of my writer/blogger friends (thanks Deep Kick Girl), I’m back baby!!
I recently reached a milestone. it has been 12 months since I split with the Producer. A whole damn year, which has been a roller coaster of emotions, learnings and letting-go’s. The Producer and I had a tangled weird connection for a lot of that time. I had asked about possible reconciliations much earlier on after I had a health scare and he was supportive, and he had said no…then he continued to reach out on a regular basis. It seemed that while my declarations were more heart based, what he missed most about me was my prowess in the bedroom, which was hardly flattering.
What he continued to propose was sex without any commitment, nor hope of there ever being one. He told me he was willing to offer me “emotional intimacy and sex”, but no relationship and no exclusivity. He said he was my friend. Ummm…No thanks! There is no “emotional” intimacy without an emotional connection. That’s just drive-through sex. He didn’t just meet me on Tinder, after all. We lived together, we were engaged and he shared my life with my kids. If I just wanted casual, meaningless sex I could have probably found it anywhere. For the record, I don’t fuck my friends. People you sleep with are lovers. The Producer is an ex.
So I declined his very generous offer, and said I’d rather not be used as a convenient whore and bed-warmer while he waited for something else to come along. I know, I know…I’m so fussy! Who could possibly give up such a heartfelt offer? The spell was broken and the rose coloured glasses finally came off.
Much has happened since I split with the Producer. I have moved home twice. Man, that will take it out of you. I have had an amazing start to this year though, filled with live gigs and great catch-ups with friends. It’s been a smorgasbord of bands – I’ve see the Menzingers, Dinosaur Jr, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Pixies, the Descendants, Adele as well as Blondie and Cyndi Lauper. Last week I attended a VIP night DJ’d by Boy George. It’s been great fun.
As it turned out, music was how I happened across an American I dated for a few months.
The American who was all kinds of opposite to me. The Harley riding Yankee-boy from the state of Maine was politically right wing (he went to great lengths to tell me he wasn’t alt-right and that he didn’t vote for Trump….phew), he worked for a large pharmaceutical company and was ex US military (airfare actually). He was opposed to Hilary Clinton and believed in gun laws (thought was grateful to raise his child here in a country that had strict fun control). He had reached out to me on a dating site and started a conversation. The one thing that struck me was our quirky tastes in music completely aligned. I told him I was left wing with socialist leanings, and truthfully told me I wasn’t into motorcycles. He was a rather large guy, sporting tattoos under his corporate suit, and had a grey biker beard. In fact, I had to ask him if he was a biker or a bikie (huuuuge difference!).
Yankee Boy, with his deep Boston drawl, eventually got me to go out with him through music. He bravely reached out one night to tell me that although I might not be his cup of tea, he happened to have a spare ticket to a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concert in Melbourne. How could a girl say no?! I mean it’s NICK CAVE!! That’s a hell of a first date. So we stood under the stars on a perfect, warm Melbourne night listening to the haunting sounds of Nick Cave singing heartbreaking songs from his album Skeleton Tree, sipping G&T’s and getting to know each other. He had a dry sense of humour and soulful eyes. Like everyone in my age bracket, he’d been through his fair share of crap. His brother, a Vietnam veteran, had tragically taken his own life 4 years before. His mother had passed away 6 weeks after that. His marriage had crumbled eventually under the weight of grief and apathy…and the universe reinforced once again that I am a sucker for a bird with a broken wing.
The American was on one hand so much fun. Hedonistic, he loved copious amounts of fine food and expensive champagne. He was interesting. Deployed in the military to Japan during the Chernobyl melt down, he was now pescatarian, unable to bring himself to eat meat. He’d seen amazing bands play all over the world. He had ridden a Harley Davidson across the states to honour his brother. He had a daughter the same age as mine (In fact I took both of the girls, both young feminists, to their first International Women’s Day rally as I adorned my pussy hat). On our one-month anniversary, he paid a busker out the front of a restaurant to sing Nick Cave songs to me. I am a sucker for romance. He finally convinced me to get in the leather and hope on the motorcycle too. I admit, it was a little bit fun.
On the other hand, something was amiss. On more than one occasion, I witnessed the darker side of his drinking. There was something quite brooding and dark about him. He could be quite self-absorbed and selfish. He would turn up to planned things late without apology or explanation. He was at times argumentative and cold. He spoke about his ex-wife only through gritted teeth. When he told me his ex-wife has accused him of being aggressive, a red flag went up. I will not go into detail but I will say I have learnt to listen to my instincts. I removed myself one night from his city apartment as quickly as possible and headed home crying in an Uber. Crying from the shock of watching someone unravel. Mad at myself for wasting tears on someone who treated me badly…again. I was proud of myself for heeding the signs. I can’t say if the situation would have escalated, further…I’m saying I didn’t know if it would and I didn’t feel safe.
Weeks later, Yankee Boy asked me to lunch, at a very expensive restaurant. He said he wanted to explain himself. He ordered many oysters and champagne for me, and then told me he had given up drinking, and was seeing a psychologist. He professed lots of pretty things, telling me I was amazing and that he felt so lucky to meet me. That losing me had made him want to be a better man. Damn. Well, all of it sounded huge and genuine and I agreed to see him again. It lasted only 3 days. The aloof, brooding, selfish and rude behaviour happened again, only this time in his sober skin.
The moral of this tale? When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them. He had shown me early on who he was. Red flags were raised. His behaviour didn’t just stem from too much alcohol fuelled by grief. As it turned out, the man from Maine was just a bit of a dick. And I admit I was a bit stupid to fall for it twice. Fool me once…etc etc.
There were great lessons in this adventure. I found out I had turned a huge emotional corner and could no longer put up with being treated like crap. Not by the Producer, the American…nor by any other man. I would no longer date anyone who didn’t treat me with the respect I deserve and while I own my own failings, I’ve stopped blaming myself for their bad behaviour, and thinking of myself as less than. In the end, all the pretty words don’t mean anything if they are spoken from the lips of someone incapable of delivering on the promises.
By turning the corner, I think I’ve opened myself up to the possibilities of greater things. I have no regrets. The Producer taught me I could love again after my marriage failed, but the relationship also taught me that you can love someone with all of your heart and they’re still not the right person for you. Perhaps the American was a test from the universe to check if I’d listened and learnt. Listen and learn I had. While I love the idea of brooding bad boys, like Nick Cave for example, it’s not really what I need in my love life. In the end, I’d rather be a bad seed on my own while I wait for the main attraction to arrive.