She gets what she wants. I get what I need.

The past several days have been hard.

I’ve been debating making this blog “private”.

I don’t know where to start.

The forecast was finally above arctic on my weekend (Sun/Mon), so I decided to try, again, to get down to the old house to pick up the last of my and X’s stuff. My dear friend Kim had planned to come with me some Sunday, but it never worked out, mostly because I’m a chicken and let the dread get to me, canceling over and over again. But it’s been nearly 6 months since I moved in to my cute condo, it was never going to get any easier, eventually the bank will take that house and all the junk in it and I won’t have the chance anymore.

I reached out to Love Bomb to see if maybe she’d want to meet me there with the dogs, so I could see “the kids”, both of whom were my babies since 2004 (D) and 2005 (G). She said she had to work both mornings and didn’t like the idea of having to drive “home” (I can’t stand it when she refers to her new place as home), get the pooches, and then drive down to Hoodbridge. I threw it out there that we could meet somewhere else or she could, like last time I saw the kids, come over to my place. MY CUTE AF PLACE. I know this arrangement struck my mom as odd to say the least, but as I explained, it’s not that I hate Love Bomb anymore, in fact, I still care for her even if I don’t love her anymore. That’s not all-together true … I still love her, I imagine I always will; we are not in love anymore, to be specific, I mean, when I don’t hate her. It’s complicated. Besides, I don’t mind letting her in to see my success, my clean (did I mention CUTE?) condo that I take such pride in and just recently – have even started decorating! Yep, it’s taken nearly 6 months to feel like I was ready to start hanging things on the wall and making this little place my own. I haven’t taken the reigns on decorating since college, really – my single-dorm rooms – all mine. I never really bothered decorating my apartment in 1998, I was too busy running around with Love Bomb at the time, I didn’t even fulfill my lease agreement, moving out at 9 months and into the house in Hoodbridge.

So, she came over. It was so nice to see my dogs again! I hadn’t seen them since their last visit — September 4, 2017. Too long. Tooooo long. Love Bomb seemed tense, never took off her jacket and refused a drink. I poured her a glass of wine anyway. The only way I can think of to describe the conversation is “fine”. It was fine. We didn’t get mad or even snarky. It was mostly just sort of routine day-to-day chatter. Fine. There were a couple of interesting moments though. Here we go…

I asked how work was going. She revealed to me that the boss of the local franchise (I don’t know how else to describe his position, it’s a retail conglomerate that I don’t understand, nor do I care to. Fucking pet stores.) was fired for sexual misconduct! Haha?! Seriously … this was a man who made his staff listen to his ramblings on CD and then write a paper on things like values? This “holier than thou” weirdo, a member of one of those huge mega-churches, assigned homework, listening, writings and readings which mirrored the ramblings of “The Secret”. I found him to be creepy and his teachings cult-esque.

Now, Love Bomb wanted me to do this homework, too. She was taken (brainwashed?) with these lessons, even though she’d put off doing the homework until the very last moment. She asked me to listen to the CD’s as well, and then, I assumed, I could help her with her paper. My reaction to this request? Hell fucking no! I went to school for 16 full-time years, I don’t work for this creepy dude, why should I have to listen to him go on and on about values, objectives, motivation, or strategy? I do NOT want to do homework anymore, thankyouverymuch. I do not want to be told what I have to listen to, and I don’t want to participate in your paper-writing. No.

Okay, okay, I understand that Love Bomb was sucked into the teachings of this crackpot, and “The Secret” is attractive at face-value. I wanted to support her in her efforts to achieve, but listening to her boss drone on for 30 minutes every other week or so was about as appealing to me as sitting in traffic or enduring a root canal. It always felt odd to me. That’s not to say that I never tried, because I absolutely did. In fact, near the very end, Love Bomb finally sent me the attachments to some of these teachings she had wanted me to invest some time in, before. Funny, she hadn’t actually provided to me before, but she was pissed that I hadn’t listened. Turns out, she sent them more as a … here are these lessons that could have saved us, but it’s too late.

Well, I did listen to those lessons. I listened multiple times. I took notes and made connections. I erased our “Goals” whiteboard and changed it to a “Core Values” whiteboard, complete with my personal “Mission Statement” and list of SMART Goals. I left one half empty so she could fill in hers. She never did. When I approached her on it, she said that she hadn’t actually DONE THE WORK, and that she hadn’t given me the lessons so that I could actually complete that work – she just wanted me to know where she was coming from and what was important to her now.

Lo-and-behold, those teachings were straight from the craw of a man, who, turns out, wasn’t behaving in accordance to his own moral values – apparently fucking around with someone he shouldn’t have been within the company. Oh, you high and mighty HYPOCRITE! I wondered if he knew that his little teachings were contributing to the loss of a nearly 19 year marriage. Love Bomb said he did. Funny that he didn’t think much of it, huh? Loser.

Moving right along.

Conversation continued, spreading to social media. She asked me just what was going on with New Girl and me on Instagram. A-ha! So, it’s not just me, and it’s not just my imagination! But here’s the thing – how does SHE know that I’ve seen her IG? The only thing I can figure is that she’s reading my blog. How else would she know? Rest assured, jealous one, I can’t see it anymore. I can’t figure out why the hell you’d be jealous of me or why you’d feel a need to check me out – haven’t you already won? Don’t you have a girlfriend, a full house, a puppy to train, and plenty to doooo? Because I don’t. I’m single. I’m alone. A humbling experience Love Bomb has never had to struggle through, and from what I’ve gathered, neither have you. Yes, I’m curious about the woman I spent nearly half my life with who was just gone like a Hall & Oates song. I’m curious about HER, not YOU, you self-absorbed home wrecker. You’re welcome to look at my shit. It’s all about me being vulnerable and real, feeling wrecked and alone. Wanna see? Go for it.

Still debating going private, but I honestly don’t care what you see. Watch me grow, bloom and flourish. Enjoy my honesty. Predict your future, if you dare.

And then, the kicker … as she was getting ready to leave, she looked at her watch. Her new Apple Watch! You know, for someone who’s claiming her second bankruptcy and losing her house to foreclosure, she sure has a lot of fancy toys. Expensive tattoo. Purebred puppy. New car. Flower deliveries. Anniversary sushi. Nice watch! She quipped, “it was a gift”. Yeah, I bet it was, Love Bomb. She got herself another one … Love Bomb + Love Bomb = Two insecure gals who are trying to buy love. We were new and lustful once, too, but we shared love notes and hand-drawn pictures of flowers more than anything.

You can buy buy buy, but you’re not going to find what you’re looking for that way, Love Bombs. What you’re looking for cannot be purchased, wrapped in a bow, or delivered.

True to form, SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS, and what she wants is stuff. Stuff that one day becomes junk, gathering dust and littering the floor. That used to be a sort of joke of sorts, “I get what I want”, but I don’t see the humor in it anymore. She gets what she wants because she gravitates to people who give her things. Her step-father gives her anything and everything because he’s a sick, guilty man and buying her has always worked for him, just like it worked with her mother. Kevin, the multi-millionaire thanks to his wealthy partner (who inherited that wealth, he didn’t earn it, he could barely figure out how to work a stapler) who pays for weekends at fancy resorts, French dinners, concert tickets, uh drugs, and more weekends – maybe a cabin this time. I see why she tolerates that dick, after all, he purchased her. Even the Chow lady who just loooooves Love Bomb pays her $500 to groom her dog for an hour or accompany her to the vet. She even threw Love Bomb an extra $500 for her birthday! I was just a tag-along she could barely remember say hello to most times, so strangely infatuated with Love Bomb.

What do you think of that, New Girl? Enjoy it now because one day the money will run out. It always does. I had grown accustomed to the financial gifts I received from my folks at Christmas and my birthday going directly into our joint checking account and then, just gone. I currently pay $1375.00 a month in rent, plus utilities, and everything else all by myself, and despite my downright measly salary, I’m fucking rolling in the dough since Love Bomb traded me in for the likes of you.

Is it that I’m just not very thoughtful? I realized VERY early in our relationship that we were quite broke most of the time, and only rarely have I spent money spontaneously or without permission. You wanna know what the first two attributes that pop up about me on dating apps are? “Frugal” & “Thrifty”. When I hit the grocery store, I take a list and I stick to it. I plan out each meal in advance and by the end of the week my fridge is empty besides condiments. When my co-workers order take-out for lunch, I decline, because I can’t afford to spend 9 bucks on a sandwich – that’s always been true. I used to ask Love Bomb permission before I bought anything out of the ordinary because I wasn’t versed in our finances. Not the ideal gift-giving situation. My mistake – I should have educated myself rather than take her word for it. I should have kept my own bank account. I believed her when she said we had enough money for pot. I believed her when she’d come home from Best Buy with a handful of new games that we could afford them. Love Bomb gets what she wants.

Oh, you know what else? “Our” savings account from which she pulled money for bills or even our vacation out West – that was an account only I contributed to! I was under the impression that we both put 20 in bi-weekly, but NO, it was just me for years and years.

No, I didn’t buy my way into Love Bomb’s heart, although she may have anticipated it since my folks actually do pretty well for themselves, and honestly. It sure ticked her off when my parents wouldn’t just hand over money when things got tight. She found that just another reason to resent them.

Lets move on to Monday…

So, since we didn’t meet at the house in Hoodbridge, I finally put on my big girl pants and went out on Monday, January 22 by myself. I’m glad I did it by myself, it took way longer than I thought it might and was way more emotionally draining than I anticipated. First of all, the place is a God damned mess – rather symbolic of our relationship, I suppose. It’s beyond messy, bordering on downright dirty. There are boxes all over the place stuffed full of a weird assortment of things I didn’t even know we had. The toilets were nearly drained out, the floor tiles all peeled up, dirty litterboxes still full of crap. The first thing I found myself doing was sorting through about 10,000 photos. OMG, talk about heartbreaking. Also, damn, I was FAT very overweight for a while there – woah! Photos of life before me, Carol, even DeeDee, oblivious to what their futures hold. Lots and lots of happy memories, our smiling faces, sans wrinkles, my ears before they got scarred and lumpy. A few of Matt and I strewn in the pile, weird, I grabbed those. I left most of them for her, I took photos of some of us as a couple and grabbed some of our family of animals – Shamu, Harley, Molly, PT, Annie, Chester, Toni, Cane, Cayenne, my dear Creole, Tina and the current crew. So many memories. So many years. So many smiles. It felt so strange to sit amongst the debris of our love in our home, photos strewn all over the floor like years, half-remembered.

Memories, broken all over the floor

Gathering the rest of whatever seemed important went relatively quickly: X’s art, a few articles of clothing, a hat, some hangars, the butter dish, even a few bars of soap and a bottle of Drain-o — hey, you never know when you’ll need it! I grabbed a package of TP – strike that off the grocery list.

Next came the tears. So many tears. I walked from room to room, snapping the last photos of what used to be my home, my life, now in complete wreckage. I locked the doors and backed out of the kitchen slowly, hands to my face as I tried not to alarm someone walking by with my wails. <click>

I sat in my car for a good long time unable to pull away. I texted Love Bomb: “So many pictures of the years and years and YEARS of fun we shared. But when the really hard work came along, you were just gone. Now all that’s left are these shambles of junk, like the junk we didn’t take care of in our relationship. And I think it’s a shame. We may not have exchanged expensive gifts, but we sure wrote a lot of letters and notes, and I think those are more symbolic of our love than watches and flowers could ever be. I wish you could too. I’m not sure how to drive away”. She responded: “I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry. It’s a shame things didn’t work out. I can’t change the way I feel … We weren’t going to change. I spent months saying things needed to change. But nothing ever did. The only way I could change was to leave. The only reason you even consider hard work is because we ended. I had to in order to move forward. All I can say is I’m sorry”. I responded: “Saying we needed to change and doing it are two very different things. You took the easy way out. Again. … You simply didn’t want to do the work. And why would you? Traded me in like a fucking car. Except I know you place emotional value on your cars. You didn’t even turn to see me leave, you just sat there eating your toast and let it all go. And again, why not? You get what you want”.

Then, I puked in the driveway. Fortunately, I only had coffee all day.

I cried some more and decided to take a selfie of this last moment in the driveway. I put it on Facebook and admitted that I didn’t know how to drive away from my old life. Some juvenile, short-sighted nitwit might have considered that airing dirty laundry, but my vulnerability is mine to share on my own page, and when I need support I get what I need – from my friends and family. 69 comments-worth of love and support was way beyond what I expected, but I’ll take all that love with open arms. I received invitations to come over for dinner or just to rest on the way home, phone calls of encouragement, texts of “you got this!”, messages to lift my heart and spirit from family and friends I’ve known my whole life AND people who’ve only entered my life recently – some of them, originally hers.

After a night of trivia with my true BFF’s, I sent one last text to love bomb, just to clear something up. It irks me that she thinks I want to change the way she feels. She’s said that to me more than once. No. That’s not the point at all: “I need to be clear about something. I do not want you to ‘change’ the way you feel. You flatter yourself. I want you to know the anguish you’ve caused. Your trade-in can have you and all the baggage that comes with you, to include G,  Kevin, even Chow-lady – your biggest fans and providers of whatever your fickle heart desires. When she tires of you don’t you DARE come crawling back to me. I will be your greatest regret and I will have moved on, stronger than you can even fathom”.

She just has no idea nor care when it comes to hurting people – the people she loves. Hurting me. Hurting Carol. Hurting DeeDee. We all deserved better than to be traded in for a new model without so much as an attempt to repair the 18 year relationship. She hurts people, and then she tosses them aside and proceeds to distract herself from emotion with trade-ins and gifts. She should know the pain she inflicts.

I don’t NEED gifts. I don’t NEED tattoos. I don’t NEED fancy watches. I don’t NEED flower deliveries to know that I am loved. I don’t want or need a Love Bomb. I get what I need with a little help from my friends.

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