Love At A Pub

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Let’s go back in time. Not necessarily a better time, just another time of days gone by in my dating journey. Let’s talk about ‘Wayne’. Not his real name. Obviously.

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Sigh. Where shall I begin? At the beginning? Yes. Alrighty then. Let’s do that shall we?

I’ve made mention of him on a previous post which you can see here. He was the first guy I actually had a relationship with after my marriage. I had plenty of meet and greets and dates with other men before him. But Wayne was the first guy that I ended up being in an exclusive long term relationship with. Not just once but twice. Yes, two different times during 6 years. First time we dated for a couple of years (on and off-should’ve been off) and the second time for a year. Apparently I never learnt any lessons the first time. Our relationship the first time around consisted of excessive partying, too much alcohol (way too often) and the eventual admittance of cocaine use on his part. No, I’m not perfect either. Looking back I was just a tad bit, shall we say, desperate?  Let’s not forget needy and clingy. Sounds like a perfect match doesn’t it? A real dream team.

I was out with my only single girlfriend at the time. She took me to a pub she had previously been to and she thought I’d like it and feel comfortable there. I did really enjoy it. We had been out numerous times before and I immediately noticed a problem. We found it rather tricky finding an establishment for our age group. At that time we were both in our late 30’s. I might as well of been in my late 90’s because that’s how old I felt. Completely out of place being single after spending 20 years being part of a duo.  I was so inexperienced, so green. I’m sure it was mostly in my head but it didn’t help matters when some places had patrons that were maybe a whole 21 years old or others had the complete opposite, 60+ year olds.

On this night I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go out. But, unlike what my fore mentioned friend likes to do all too often, I did not bail on her. We got to the pub a little late so it was already pretty packed and barely any seats available. We managed to find a couple stools at the end of the bar (not my preference) but close to the dance floor. However, this location was perfect because there’s nothing better then watching drunk people dance. This specific night I was grateful I had the dance crowd to keep myself entertained. My friend had gone MIA. Was off on her merry way dancing with some guy who finally got up enough liquid courage to saunter over and ask her to dance. Yea, don’t think I didn’t notice. I’m kinda like a hawk when it comes to people watching. I can usually figure out who’s fighting with who, who’s eyeing someone, who shouldn’t be eyeing someone and who gets caught by their significant other eyeing someone. Oh yea. I rock at that shit. I can read relationship dynamics just by peoples body language, mannerisms and actions. Don’t even have to be in ear’s distance to hear what they’re saying and I know what’s going on. That alone could’ve kept me quite content all night long. Well that and the various hopeful suitors who would come and ask me to dance, to which I politely declined. I know, I know!  What a big party pooper. Whatever. I just wasn’t feeling it that particular night. Trust me, this girl has no problem shaking her boot-ay when the mood strikes my fancy. Yea, I still got it.

I just wasn’t into it. That is until Wayne made his way over to me. ‘You know what they say about sitting at the edge of the bar?’ he says to me out of the blue. Hmmmm? I glance over and decide, okay, he’s attractive and his aura isn’t that of being a dick so, alright, I’ll bite. ‘I don’t know. What do they say?’ I coyly respond. He smiles and extends his hand and introduces himself. ‘What? You don’t know what it means when someone sits at the edge of the bar?’ Ahhh, no I don’t. I’ve been hibrinating for the past 20 years I silently think to myself. Any new dating rules that have occurred during the past 20 years, well, I’m totally not up to date to say the least. He proceeds to tell me it’s code for letting others know you are available. Oh, well then, I’ve picked the right spot haven’t I? I still don’t even know if that’s true. I’m so gullible at times. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Please share!

So right off the bat I got a good feeling about him. No alter ego at play, no cheesy stories, no feelings that this guy was a big time player. So, I allowed him to continue conversation with me. When I’m not interested I tend to be short with conversation. Maybe even a little rude I’ve been told, but I don’t see the point in making small talk when there is zero interest. Wayne was very witty and humorous. I like that alot. The live band that was playing went on their 2nd intermission and the DJ started his show with a dance mix of the biggest hit song of that summer, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back. Well the crowd piled onto the dance floor and everyone was totally into the party mode by this point.  Wayne takes my hand and leads me onto the dance floor. It’s weird that I even remember the exact song, because I barely even remember the band that night. Isn’t it strange when our brain just remembers certain details and specific facts? Now even after 5 years, every single time I hear that song, I think about Wayne, and that night. Music is like the sound track to our lives. A specific song can bring you right back in time instantly. Music and fragrance do the same for me. I can remember every single perfume I used to wear at different times in life. Who I was with, what was going on, specific feelings. Good and bad. Some songs I can’t even bare to listen to and some perfumes I refuse to wear. Some really great songs and fragrances have completely been ruined for me. Damn them jerks!

Song after song, we continued on the dance floor dancing, having the best time. As the night was coming to an end my girlfriend, aka lame-o wing woman, finally made her way over to me. Ahhh, how very sweet of you to remember me, I’m thinking. We make introductions to each others uh, new…’guys’ and make some small talk. ‘Do you guys want to come over for a few drinks? Some friends are all coming back to my place.’ Wayne says. Extending the invitation to my girlfriend and her new friend…guy…friend. I was actually into the invitation, especially being in a group setting, why not? Continue the laughs and good times. Until my girlfriend excuses us and grabs my arm, basically pulls me aside and says we shouldn’t go. Ah, what? Why the hell not? I haven’t been to a party, well, other then my kids birthday parties in literally aeons. And we all know that’s the truth. That night I was feeling flirty and 21 29 again! Up for some fun. My girlfriend continued telling me all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We don’t know them, never been to his house, what if they’re psychos? All very valid, but really? That’s why women have instinct, and mine was saying Wayne was totally fine. Her’s must’ve been telling her something different because she just wasn’t into his invite at all.  So of course, being the good friend I am, I obliged and told Wayne I unfortunately had to decline tonight but he had my number and could use it.

Turns out my girlfriend really wasn’t into her ‘friend/guy/one night only dance partner’ hence why the desperate attempt to keep us from further hanging out with them. Interesting how she vanishes to appease herself and dance the night away when it’s to her benefit. Ironic there’s no reciprocation for me when the situation arises? Pffft. Isn’t there some girlfriend being a good wing woman code of ethics thing? I’m pretty sure there was one when I used to go out way, long ago…back in the day. Oh, what do I know. I’m 38 now, ancient.

In any event, Wayne and I went our separate ways that night. I was barely home when I received a text from him. He said how great it was meeting me and if he could call me this week so we could set up a date. Why yes, I am completely into that. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? Funny how things start so great and then as time carries on shit happens. Before you know it you’ve found yourself in love (or was it love? Jury’s still out on that one) and messed up with a man who’s life includes parties, excessive drinking, an eventual admittance to a cocaine problem, head games, jealousy, co-dependancy, and just plain effed up-ness. But I knew he loved me like crazy, and me being just out of a 20 year relationship, well, I had my own issues. I just added to that craziness. Yeah, it only got worse as we went along.

Hopefully as I write through these experiences with the jumbled up mess that’s crammed in my head, I will make some sort of sense of it all. It’s all about the journey and hopefully taking lessons away from them.

This chapter (the story of Wayne) has just begun.

Laura xo

Oh No He Didn’t! (Chapter of Wayne – Part 2)

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As promised after our first meeting at the pub that night, Wayne did call me and we planned a date. We set up a time and place and decided on sushi and a movie. Don’t even ask me what movie we went to see, I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. However, what I do clearly remember is I definitely was no where near being ready to jump into dating, let alone a relationship. Now looking back, in hindsight, I had issues and needed time. Last thing I should’ve did was date, anyone. I should’ve believed when people said it takes time after divorce and dating complicates matters.  I definitely wasn’t over my ex husband (of 20 years) by a long shot. Even though I swore I was. Hmmmm… let’s call my ex husband, Damian. Yes, Damian. It’s a very ‘Harlequin Romance‘ kinda name don’t ya think?  It’s my story, I can assign whatever name I choose. Anyways,  if you asked me at the time I’d say ‘hell ya I’m over him!’  But hell no I wasn’t! I admit it. Apparently for every 5 years you are with someone, it takes approximately 1 year to ‘get over‘ them. So I was with Damian for 20 years… well, that’s 5 LONG fricking years of waiting to get over him! I ain’t got time for that!
Of course I wasn’t over my ex husband. Hell, I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely over him

So, almost a year after separating from my husband and having gone on numerous online dating meet and greets, I naively jump in and start dating Wayne. Immediately I’m comparing every little thing Wayne does to that of my ex husband. I mean everything. The way he speaks to the server (very telling you know?)  the way he eats his food, how many drinks he consumed in such a short time frame (don’t think I didn’t notice), the way he puts way too much sushi in his mouth at once. (Hello!)
All of these teenie tiny signs combined equals one great, big Red Flag.
My girlfriends at the time would say I constantly compare, compare, compare. They’re all like, ‘You’re not being fair to Wayne. Stop comparing, everyone’s different.’ On and on. I was just simply pointing out that Damian did things a certain way. And ehm, well, Wayne doesn’t. That’s all.

I clearly remember sitting across from Wayne at the sushi restaurant and thinking, I’m not completely attracted to him in that way. I mean, he was attractive yes, but something wasn’t quite right. I remember on our first date being uncomfortable when dinner was over and the waitress brought the bill. He kinda just continued letting it sit there, between us. It got very uncomfortable. It felt like he was waiting for me to take care of it. Or maybe it was all in my mind. But no, I don’t think so. From previous posts you know I do have some issues with that. Completely out of touch with the times and rules of dating. Who pays? What’s the dating etiquette? I figure if you get asked out on a first date, the man should pay, no? Red flag #2 because ‘who pays’ later became an issue in our relationship.
An issue because guess who ended up always paying?
Yours truly.

Wayne and I had been dating for a couple of months. Like clock work, every Friday night you could guarantee a party at his place. Now this wasn’t a problem for me initially. Remember, I had been solely a wife and mother for the past 20 years, so it almost seemed like I was making up for lost party time in a sense. I was with my ex husband since I was 18 so I missed the whole partying and going out stage. Wayne and I had so much fun. I have since realized that we had the most fun when we were drinking.  It’s not like we didn’t have fun ever without alcohol, but let’s just say we had more fun with alcohol. And for me, 2 glasses of red wine is all it takes.

The alcohol was a good thing and a bad thing. Good in that when both of us were intoxicated, we let many potential spats slip by. Bad because the ones that didn’t slip by were ridiculous and typically made no sense what so ever. Obviously the communication between two intoxicated people can sometimes get construed and not make any bloody sense. We would then proceed to beat that particular subject up to no avail.  That combined with my disagreeing/debating style (at the time) typically consisted of just shutting down and giving him the good ol’ silent treatment. I know how much men love that. You can imagine how well that worked out. I have to say that method was all I’d ever done in my marriage so that’s what I naturally turned to. Wayne couldn’t tolerate that at all and would insist we talk it out.  He would always say that I put up walls, and I swear to God if I heard him say one more time “Oh, there’s them walls you put up!” I’m pretty certain I was gonna lose my mind.
Looking back, I think know those walls were actually me not being completely into him. Thing is I was a confused mess, I liked him a lot, but I didn’t. I was particularily needy after being married and he wasn’t Damian. That was perfectly clear.

But some things I really liked about Wayne. He was the only guy I knew who actually wanted to dance with me, all of the time. Even when friends were around. He didn’t care. I loved that he would take my hand and lead me to the dance floor or to the middle of the living room and waltz with me. That was something I remember my parents doing plenty of times when my sister and I were growing up. They would dance and talk all night long, I loved that aspect of their marriage. I told Wayne that too. He knew how special that was to me. Those kinds of moments are so simple yet last forever in your memories. 

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There was always something that felt off with my feelings towards Wayne. Like when we would be out at friends homes, a pub, or anywhere around other people and alcohol, I would become uptight and nervous. I would be embarrassed at the things he would say, the unpredictability of what he might say. The way he would act after a number of beers. Almost confrontational with anyone he might be talking with. He was an up tight kind of guy, and I can be an uptight kind of girl. Not the greatest combo. But afterwards when we would go home and we were alone, it would all be okay.  It became obvious that he was less uptight when he was drinking and when no one else was around. I became more attracted to that guy. That’s the guy I liked best unfortunately. He’d be completely focused on me, treating me like a princess and I would forget all about any inappropriate behavior he had displayed earlier. This became a routine in our relationship. The times we were by ourselves it was different. It was better. So eventually without even realizing what I was doing I would make excuses for us to stay in, not have friends over.  Instead insisting we stay at home, alone.  He rarely disagreed. Instead we started sharing some amazing Friday nights at home alone. Clearly the makings of a very bad dysfunctional relationship. He loved to cook and was a fabulous cook, I’d sip red wine while assisting him. By assisting I mean watching. You know, keeping him company in the kitchen.
We would put the music on, have drinks, dance and talk all night long. All seemed good. That part of the relationship was the good part and was so different for me. It’s what I needed at the time and what I had lacked in my marriage.  It was what I kept hanging onto. That part was fun. Obviously not the components of a lasting relationship, but fun for the time being.

We were only seeing each other once a week, twice at most, and that would usually be Friday nights. Saturday nights he would play poker with the guys. Religiously. I didn’t mind at all except if for some reason or another we couldn’t see each other on the Friday night and he wouldn’t give up poker on Saturday night to spend it with me. You know what they say? He’s just not that into you! If he was, well, he surely would choose spending time with me over poker at least some of the time.  Well, I hadn’t read He’s Just Not That Into You yet so I was not getting it. Plus I was so damn needy then. Couldn’t stand being single, alone, lonely, always wanting to be with someone. Coincidentally he was that someone at that time.

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That was until one particular Saturday night while he was at poker and we were texting each other back and forth. I sensed something was off.  He finally tells me, via text, that his on again-off again ex girlfriend he dated before me wanted to get back together. Turns out the friends house he plays poker at was the ex girlfriend’s brother. Ahhh, perfect. She wanted to give it another try. Uhh… okay? Well, that’s very unexpected. I remember being completely shocked.  Not heart broken, just shocked. No one likes rejection.

He’s breaking up with me? pffft! Isn’t that ironic?

Laura xo