Impromptu Dinner Party

Arcadia and Elrick came over this afternoon to deliver a couch that they were giving to Serenity.  As we were in the kitchen talking, I asked Arcadia about inviting Sean over for dinner so she could meet him.  Since Serenity, Liam, and Sean’s son, Andy,  were hanging out already, I thought it would be nice to have a meal together.  Arcadia mentioned that she’d also like to meet my next door neighbor, Jenna, so I texted her and invited her too.

I made tilapia, quinoa, and mixed veggies.  I’d also made a fresh batch of nut tassies.  Sean really seems to enjoy my baking.  Sean got there right as I was mixing up the filling for the tassies.  I asked him to get me an egg out of the fridge so he did.  After I put the egg in the mixture, I threw the shell away.  The garbage was rather full.  Sean just took the bag and started closing it to take it out.  Elrick was fixing my counter.  I turned to look at Arcadia and I kept thinking, “Don’t cry.  Don’t cry.  Don’t cry.”  She looked at me funny so I pointed to her husband and Sean and gestured that it was weird.  I had two men in my kitchen, helping out just because they are nice.  It was almost more than I could handle.

A bit later, I was thinking about the light in my kitchen not being bright enough.  I hopped up on the chair to see what wattage the light bulb was.  Sean asked if I had other light bulbs and I said they were on top of the fridge.  He got right up to get them for me.  Again, he was simply helping out and yet it was almost incomprehensible to me.

The adults ate in the living room.  Sean complimented my cooking.  We talked and laughed and everyone seemed to be having a good time (I know I was!).  Jenna is hilarious and she is talkative!  After dinner, we dug into the cookies!  Everyone was picking on Sean, trying to get him to eat more.  He’s said before that he lost 10 pounds after his surgery and I’m trying to put it all back on him.

We just sat around and talked then.  At one point, the subject changed to massages.  I told them that I miss the woman who used to give me massages when we lived in another state.  Sean asked for my foot and without thinking, I just gave it to him.  He started rubbing my foot.  I had to grab it back and excuse myself.

I went running for my bedroom because I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore.  That is what pushed me over the edge.  I’d been barefoot all day, the floors are none too clean, yet he was going to rub my feet for me.  What kind of man does that?  As I sit here typing this, I’m crying again.  Why is it that someone I met two weeks ago doesn’t find my dirty feet repulsive yet the man I was married to for almost 20 years found me too repulsive to touch unless he wanted to have sex?  I can’t wrap my brain around this at all.

I got myself under control quickly, splashed my face with cold water, and went back to the party.  Sean seemed very uncomfortable and was heading toward the door.  I apologized for my abrupt exit and he asked what happened.  Since he was standing by the door, I signaled him into the kitchen and tried to explain that his kindness was just so beyond my scope of reality that it made me cry.  I just had to go have a moment to collect myself.

Jenna had left to go out with her boyfriend.  Arcadia and her family then left.  Sean tried to herd his son and nephew and we managed to make it out to the porch.  We stood outside talking for a bit.  At one point I told him, “I don’t think you can appreciate how very fucked up I am.”  He said he was starting to get an idea of it.  Yeah, I just don’t think he can comprehend it at this point.  Not even a little.

He finally left and we’ll possibly be seeing them tomorrow.  Andy has to go back to his Mom’s tomorrow but Sean is going to try to see if he can stay a little longer since my kids are leaving for the summer soon.

I cleaned up the house a bit as I didn’t want to leave all the food sitting around.  I went to bed with a dirty kitchen and I didn’t care.  While we’d all been sitting in the living room, talking, I realized I was totally relaxed and enjoying myself.  I wasn’t sitting there thinking about how I’d clean the house in as quickly a manner as possible to get it done by some arbitrary deadline.  I wasn’t worried about the price I was going to pay for having people over and having a good time.  I wasn’t scared that there would be a huge fight when I was just too tired to clean up before bed.  I wasn’t thinking about sweeping the floor (which I’d just done earlier that day) or doing the dishes, or taking the trash out.  I simply had a blast!

After puttering around in the kitchen (and realizing I wasn’t exhausted and drained but revved up and happy), I came back to get ready for bed.  Sean texted.  The following is our conversation (I corrected the text talk because it drives me nuts):

Sean: You know we had talked about you not having time for a man in your life right now so if I cross a line that makes you feel uncomfy do tell me and I’ll leave you alone.

Me: Friends are cool as long as that is all it is.  I haven’t had a male friend in nearly 20 years and I’ve somehow acquired 2 in the space of 10 months.  Well, the other 1 was an old friend from high school but we reconnected after the separation.

Sean: Well I am single and for some reason I keep coming back to you!  So I don’t want to mess anything up by reading into something that’s not there for you.

Me: It’s the cookies. lol  As long as we are only friends, that’s fine.  I’ll tell you if you start freaking me out.  I plan to remain manless for a long time.

Me: I have a lot of healing left to do.   I have 20 years of ick to work through plus I have to deal with a psycho x for the next 10 years.

Sean: Who knows, you might change your mind and if you do… You better tell me!!!!

Me: Not anytime soon so don’t hold your breath.

I had to call Arcadia to get perspective on this.  That conversation had me freaking out.  She said he let me know what he is thinking and that he is being respectful of my boundaries.  He wants to know if he does something to cross a line.  She also said she isn’t surprised by this.

Me?  I’m boggled by it.  Absolutely boggled by it.  I can’t wrap my brain around someone looking at me that.  In one way, I can see that I look good and I’m kinda cute.  But in another way, I can’t possibly understand that a man would be attracted to me.  For too many years I got the message that something was so fundamentally wrong with me that no man except Bubba could possibly want me.  And wasn’t he just some kind of saint for wanting me after all those years and the fact that I looked like a 60 year old woman?  Wasn’t I just so lucky that he still chased me around the house?  Wasn’t I just so blessed that I was so hideous yet my husband still wanted sex from me?

How do I change this way of thinking?  Because my first instinct is to tell Sean exactly why I’m so fucked up so I can scare him away.  I absolutely know I’ve tried it with Luke.  I know I’ve told Luke things that would curl your hair simply because part of me wants him to run away. Now I find myself thinking about doing the same thing to Sean.  Scare him off now.  Keep myself safe now.  Curl back into my bubble now.

Only, I don’t want to be that scared, little mouse anymore.  The learned response is there to run and hide.  The healing part of me wants to continue being me.  I like who I’m becoming.  I want others to like me too.  Yet the thought of having that kind of male attention is just still too mind-boggling to me.  I keep re-reading those texts and it is almost like trying to decipher a foreign language.

It is almost as if I understand the words, but something is lost in translation.


1 Comment

  1. Claire

    Should this be in red? (I’m getting a bit confused about your timeline…)

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