Waiting for Superman at the Border
If you missed part I of this two-part Blog, click here to dive into the story!
Ding Dong. The doorbell rings…my heart trips up, and I stroll from the kitchen to answer it. I take a deep breath and open the door…there he is with his sexy silver beard and sunglasses holding a dozen roses and a bottle of wine, right on time. Our eyes meet, and my smile is instant. I exhale.
John. 49. Divorced Father of two. Construction salesman and musician that reminds me of the Dos Equis, Most Interesting Man in the World.
This is the beginning of my second date with John.
So as you can guess, there was never the 8th date with Joe. The day we rescheduled, he got very sick with a fever and cough. The following week I got ill, and by that time I was honestly over it. He kept saying, we are in just two different chapters of our life. And so I decided this wasn’t going to work for ME! After breaking it off, he says to me, “Cherry, you deserve the best in life and to elevate your standards because you are truly special and anyone in your life should feel privileged to be with you. I wish you nothing but the best and hope you find the person you deserve.”
So while it didn’t work with Egyptian Joe, I have this overwhelming sense I am getting closer to the right guy. The quality of man I am finding is more on my level, kinder, sweeter, and appreciative of who I am. My choices are demonstrating my new found self-worth. Sadly, I close the book on Joe and wish him all the good the world has to offer.
The mere act of breaking it off with Egyptian Joe is one of the best examples of my growth. Self-love and self-protection is not something that came naturally to me. If anything, my entire life choices and behavior was wholly self-abusive. As I’ve peeled the onion of my NURTURE there is a clear trend of self-sabotage and lack of trust in my truth. I set myself up to be hurt…I eagerly take abuse, almost seek it out. It was my normal; it’s what felt comfortable and familiar. I chose men who were projects because I thought if I wasn’t needed, then I wasn’t good enough to be wanted.
But as I began to process, I started to “divorce” the abusers from my life, while meeting new abusers. The most crucial epiphany was when I realized I could not break this cycle because I was now my abuser and I needed to divorce myself from this behavior. I was the one purposefully hurting myself and sabotaging my joy. It was the hardest truth to stomach, and it was the hardest to change. Often learned behavior forces us to go against our nature and so I became this other person. This Freak of NURTURE.
The first divorce was my father. I haven’t spoken to him in five years. This is genuinely sacrilegious in my family. Blood is thicker than water as the saying going. Through a lot of therapy, what I came to understand is that if that blood is poisoned it needs to be drained from your life. And so, I stopped speaking to my father…this was a tough thing to do as it has caused some strain in my family. However, I am so much stronger and healthier because I put my happiness first instead of allowing guilt to rule me (much more on this topic in the future).
The next divorce was obviously from my husband. And within four months of separating, I rebounded with Anthony. 38. Red Bank. Telemarketer. Criminal.
After meeting Anthony on Match, our relationship got very serious, very quickly. Take a second and imagine being starved for food and then someone throws a saltine cracker at you. Well, goddam that saltine cracker would taste like a Filet Mignon. And so that’s how Anthony infiltrated my life. Being so starved of love and affection, being so insecure and sad, he brought joy and attention to me. I went all in!
Three months after meeting, he moved in with me because he was living with his parents at the time and they wanted him out (repeat after me: RED FLAG). And then after actually living with him for two months, I found out he was a former criminal. Yes, he served six years in Arizona state prison for identity theft. I don’t even know what to say really. This was by far my biggest downfall; the fall from any grace I had left. How did I choose someone worse than the Chupacabra of Joy?!
After the Holidays things got so bad, I finally had the courage to kick him out of my home. His revenge for this decision was to have sex with his ex-girlfriend in my bed while I was at work. And that was the end of Anthony.
Two years later, there was a second attempt at a relationship with Tommy. 48. 6’3” Tattooed Stagehand from Bayonne. Our chemistry was incredibly intense. He was a super alpha, and I was extremely enamored with him almost instantly. While our connection was strong, he turned out to be verbally abusive. Because he eventually addressed and corrected that issue, we continued to see each other on and off for ten months. Then I found out about his problems with the law (yes, he also had a record not as bad as Anthony’s, and it was many years ago, but there were still some issues as recent as three years ago). So because of my daughter and the challenges with the Chupacabra, I told him I couldn’t commit to being his girlfriend, but we agreed to continue to see each other monogamously; or so I thought.
One morning I was moving his stuff off the table as he would throw his shit everywhere. I touched his phone and saw a picture of another woman as his screensaver. As I moved his phone, it opened up because he didn’t have a code on it and coincidentally right at that moment, texts from the girl were streaming in expressing her love for him. It is important to note, that I do NOT believe in invading someone’s privacy, but God did this work in my favor; it was a fortunate coincidence. Or maybe the universe helping me out of a very shitty situation.
So I promptly kicked him the fuck out of my house. Eventually, Tommy got his life together, and we remain friends. Believe it or not, I still care for him because, in the end, he is a good man; just not right for me.
Yeah so, you can say I’m not good at choosing my partners; which might be the understatement of the year! However, I’ve been working on healing since Tommy which was two years ago. I had to take my hardest lessons head on. When a friend said something critical to me, it kick-started a significant shift in my choices. The men I was choosing were reflections of how I felt about myself. She was so very right, and now I needed to STOP choosing ASSHOLES. STOP choosing men who would take advantage of me. STOP choosing men that would purposefully put me and my life at risk. I had to STOP choosing Wal-mart. I just had to STOP!
No more self-sabotage. No more self-hate. No more projects. It was time to flip the script on these terrible choices and start taking care of myself and learn to treat ME, how I treated others. This was a turning point, and the healing continues. It never stops, I work on it every single day.
So after breaking things off with Joe, I decided to rejoin Bumble. And the second match that showed up in my cue was John. It was then that I saw those piercing, soulful blue eyes staring back at me. And that grey hair and beard…a silver fox, BINGO!
On May 21st, John and I started chatting after I made the initial introduction. Interestingly, he mentioned that he knew someone at my company in advertising. Knowing there are 1,200 people on the team, I didn’t think anything of it. Until he said the guy’s name…Mike A. My jaw-dropped! I responded by saying “Shut up! That’s my work husband!” He said they were good friends in college and that he hasn’t seen him in a while. In the process of getting to know each other, I reconnect John with Mike. And I think to myself; he knows good people, now that’s a good fucking sign!
So we had our first date. And when I first saw him, I was instantly attracted to his style and presence. There is an ease to John. Quiet confidence. A gentle spirit that is also extremely powerful, curious and interesting. He has a wide dance floor; many interests and hobbies from music to mountain biking to art to fishing to traveling. He’s a dedicated father who is ready to receive love and commit to it with the right person.
When we met at Crossroads (a local rock club), I was more excited than I wanted to admit because I was trying to keep myself in check. The date was incredible…conversation flowed, laughter abound, intense glances of good vibes exchanged. We bonded on many levels and have much in common. I didn’t want the date to end…and as he walked me to my car I was hopeful for a kiss.
But oddly, there was an awkward goodbye and an even more awkward kiss. SHIT!! Don’t tell me; there’s no fucking chemistry. This can’t be!!! My hope quelled, but I refused to let this go. There were too many good things about him and how I felt being with him. I felt like me. Wholly myself. There was no doubt I would go on a second date.
And so the story of John, the Most Interesting Man in NJ, begins…ding, dong