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Chasing The American Dream

January 02, 2005

28 MONTHS, 5 WEEKS, 13 DAYS

The little fictional postman I call Gazoo who randomly pops into my brain made another delivery. I was doing my nightly two-mile jog when he put this thought into my head. As I ran, I thought about the risky posting concept and decided if I didn’t have a message on my cell phone by the time I got back, I’d go through with posting this idea. Well, I’m home (obviously), and there’s no message. (Note, this post was started yesterday. I got a message this morning, I made two calls and left messages, no return call…)

I told you before my life has been full of unusual streaks. Some are easy to publicize, like not seeing a movie for 7 years or not throwing up for 29 years. Some are, uh, a bit more difficult, a bit more embarrassing, and a bit more personal. But hey, it’s the New Year, right? Gotta forge on.

The Big D (Divorce) is complicated. I leave for Phoenix in 12 days for my long awaited trial. At this point, I’m not sure what issues are going to be dredged up? Many things went wrong between us. Or maybe, better said, many things were missing from our marriage. Among other things, over the years, we lacked common interests, common religion, we weren’t best friends, and IMHO she lacked passion.

Passion’s the subject at hand here. OK, now that I have everyone’s attention, I’ll carry on (wayward son). One parental mistake we made was our son's sleeping habits. In his early childhood, he had many fears among which, was the fear of sleeping alone. Being worried, first-time parents, we accommodated him by getting in bed with him until he fell asleep. This eventually led to spending the entire night with him. Ahh, I can see all the headshaking goin’ on out there. I know, big mistake. Yeah, in more ways than one.

So yes, our son became dependent on us parents. We ended up having to sleep with him pretty much until he was 7 years-old. Most of those duties fell to me. I’d be the one who slept with him because I’d go to bed earlier than the ex. So naturally, if I’m sleeping in said son’s bed I’m not sleeping in *our* bed. And if we’re not sleeping together than obviously we’re not doing other things together, right? Right.

Fast forwarding a bit, the last time the ex and I were together was for her 40th birthday. I could never have imagined it would be the last time we’d have sex. The date? 8/14/02. OK, now I can see everyone out there doing the math and looking at the subject title. Hold on and I’ll explain. I left home on 12/27/03 so you can see that it had been quite some time since we were together (16 months). Once our son got to sleeping on his own, we still rarely slept in the same bed. She’d claim the mattress bothered her, or I’d hog the bed or covers, so she slept in the spare room.

OK so now I’m on my own and doing this online dating thing. One of the biggest fears out there (seemingly) is that most guys are ‘players’ and just want one thing. I’m not one of those ‘player’ dudes and feared being labeled as such. So I had this dichotomy thing goin’ on. I wanted to be the nice guy that I am, but I wanted to be the Garden State, no fear, go-for-it guy as well. So for almost the entire year of 2004, I played the nice guy. I eventually convinced myself that there was nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone. I just thought, whatever happens, happens; and if it does happen, then it’s totally cool so quit worrying about it.

I met some amazing women this year, er, last year. Nothing happened and I was OK with it. I made many friends. I’m good at that, ya know. So fast forward to late November. I made a major leap of faith. I broke one of my picture rules and met someone having never seen her picture. She lived out of town and was coming in for a visit to her parents (Note folks, we’re NOT talking about Greek Tragedy here so everyone just relax). We agreed to meet and just have a good time. And we did. She was/is cute. We had dinner and dessert. Before I got out of her car (she drove to the dessert place and drove me back to the restaurant parking lot) to go home, I took a bit of a chance and gave her a quick goodnight kiss.

That kiss seemed to linger for both of us. During the next week, we talked on the phone daily. I told her about ‘the streak.’ It was once again approaching the 14th. That meant another month. Do the math yet? Yeah 8/14/02 to 12/14/04 is 28 months. Wow, that’s a helluva long time. Thing is, I’ve always had the passion. I guess Greek would call it Funnel Cake. I’ve just not had someone to share it with. Now while this was going on, I was scheduled to meet a JDater I’d corresponded with for four months. I considered the fact that the streak could very well end up there in the Northeast. Either way, I was cool with it. If it happened, great for us, if not, that would have been OK, too. Really, it would have been. Well, if you recall, that meeting never happened.

Then the ‘no pic girl’ and I got really hot and heavy on the phone. Phone sex? I suppose so. It’s all we could talk about. I think it had been a while for her, too. She was coming back to town and both of knew it *was* gonna happen. I fought guilty feelings. Feelings of acting like a ‘player.’ Feelings of, what happens afterward? Is this a one night stand thing? I wanted it to be special, not tacky, not cheap. Plus, my hand-me-down twin bed is not really conducive sooo, I got a nice room at a nice hotel for the special occasion.

The streak ended late nite/early morning on 12/19. We did just about everything and then some. Practically went through a whole box of you-know-whats in two days. We had a great weekend. How did we leave it? Well, it seemed inevitable that I’d come to visit her and we’d continue where we left off. Passion ruled. But right before she left to go home, she asked me a momentum changing question. “Got any New Year’s plans?” I gave her a non-committal answer which I know disappointed her especially after all the time we had just spent together.

That’s where Greek entered the picture because we had previously planned to get together for New Year’s (I thought) when she came down to Florida for her annual visit. And you all know that story now. And believe me, I felt guilty times 10. You also know that Greek left early so there was no New Years’ date.

After Greek posted and then I posted, I awaited the response. I expected anger and disappointment. She seemed cool with it. She told me we had talked about agreeing to continue to see other people and so on. Yeah, *seemed* cool with it, but I couldn’t see her face which I’m sure did express disappointment. I asked her if she wanted me to come up for New Year’s and all of a sudden, excuses were made. Legitimate though they may have been (working, no babysitter, whatever), I sensed things had changed. Days ago, there would have been nothing to stop us from being together and for me to make a visit up there and now, it was different. She seemed distant. I think the Greek thing hurt her; I can’t say I blame her in the least bit.

So it started with the no visit, and then the phone calls slowed, messages not being returned. A pattern I’ve recognized. Even when we last spoke, it seemed distant. She seemed distracted doing other things, and I didn’t feel like a lengthy conversation having just been on the phone for two hours with mother and son. Again, easy excuses but what are the under linings? Are we building a mystery here? Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ve only known her for 5 weeks. I feel like I’ve hurt her. She even mentioned something to the effect that, “You had me and now you’re moving on.” That sort of commentary really hurts cuz it’s the very image and reality I’m trying to avoid. Listen people, do not be mad at her. I’m not and it’s not my point to make her the issue of this post. She’s a great person, a sweet girl, a single mom making the best out of her difficult situation. I’m just spinning a tale of just how difficult it really is out here to date and relate. I find it hard to believe that, especially after this post, I might not ever see her again. It’s just that sort of uneasy feeling you have in your gut. We’ve all experienced that, right?

And now what? Does it come down to the ‘being friends’ issue once again? Many questions to be answered. Many unknowns. Who knows, I may get to visit her although it just doesn’t seem likely? I’m never right about these things anyway so I guess I’ll just see what happens. Regardless, I better go back and mark my calendar. Hmm, 13 days and counting…


34 Comments:

  • I can relate to how hard it is to get back into the dating game, especially after a long term relationship. The whole issue of when to spend the night together is difficult...I guess patience is the key, and of course honesty about expectations. Whatever they may be. And it's 3 months and 12 days for me. Not that I'm counting...

    By Blogger Catherine, at 10:08 AM, January 02, 2005  

  • It's been so long for me, I've stopped counting. And almost stopped caring!

    By Blogger M, at 10:33 AM, January 02, 2005  

  • C, "I firmly believe that one's private life should always be just that: private." Sound familiar? Uhhh, oops, I guess I just violated someone's golden rule!

    Seriously, thanks for your visit and comments. Your ending cracked me up. I agree with what you said about honesty and expectations. I think we get an 'A' for that. As for patience, well hey, 'D-' but we did wait until date #3!

    PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 11:40 AM, January 02, 2005  

  • Sometimes things just fizzle out. Maybe she was hurt? or just being oversensitive? You never know.

    I just hope this streak is much shorter for you! Yes, I think you'll look back on your 28 month streek and laugh. I give you immense props for having the honesty to post this... there are many others out there with similar streaks, and it always helps to know you're not alone. Besides, I love your honesty!

    12 days is so soon... are you nervous? Are you guys going to be fighting for custody, or is that already decided?

    By Blogger girl from florida, at 11:47 AM, January 02, 2005  

  • Good luck at the trial.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 2:36 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • P.S. I'll swing by but probably won't be making comments for a while. I'm finishing up my novel, then starting re-writes which should take until about March. The book then goes to my agent, who--if she does her job--will sell it to be published.

    So, I'll be super-busy writing and just keeping up with what's in the NY Times. Don't know how often my blog will be updated during this period. I'll try to post "short pieces" or even start serializing the book--chapter by chapter. Although there may be some contractual problems with doing that kind of shite. I don't know.

    Anyway, Happy New Year to you; hope '05 will treat you kindly and fairly.

    lx

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 2:39 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • OK. You are still legally married, but have sex with another woman and equivocate about a New Year's Eve date with her - And you don't want to be pegged as a player? You seem to want to be seen as a "good guy", but you openly talk about your sex-life with your soon-to-be ex-wife, without protecting her (or your son's) anonymity or whereabouts. But you're a good guy, right? Do you know that Jewish law (against lashon hara) specifically forbids this type of "speech"? If you do not want to look like a player, stop acting like one. If you want to be one of the good guys, BE one - instead of attempting to validate and justify your bad behavior.

    If I was were soon-to-be ex-wife's attorney, I would hoist you on your own petard (string you up by your balls) based upon the information you have willingly disclosed online. The previous poster was correct: you will need good luck in 12 days... Do you deserve it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:30 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • Anon, all I can say is that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. Your basis for conclusion lies in these here posts and, on the surface, the criticism is deserving. But as I've addressed previous contrarians, there's always so much more to it than can possibly be explained in a blog. That's what the book is for. People that know me know I am, in fact, a good guy.

    Perhaps you can direct me to the specific law I broke. I'd truly like to read it.

    Not that it matters, but I obviously have consulted my attorney on all of my personal life and would not have done anything he would have objected to. I'm no legal expert, but different states have different 'no fault' laws. I'm comfortable knowing my objective is not simply to sew wild oats, but to live life and not get in my own way of living it to the fullest. Anonymity? Guilty, I guess although I'm obviously not hiding anything. I'm not sure what I gain by hiding my wife and kid's name? My whole life story is being told in a book. I guess I could changes names and places, but I'm choosing to tell it like it is. So hang me by my, what did you call it, petard if you wanna. And yeah, I think I deserve a little good luck for a change. But that's just *my* opinion. Happy New Year and thanks for reading me...PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 6:11 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • As a friend and fellow writer with tons of experience in writing fiction and non-fiction (published), I would have liked to have seen the names of your wife and child changed, or not given at all.

    Please take my advice on this--when you finish the book, please change their names. They've already been "out-ted" on this blog, but you can take this blog down--erase the site.

    In the MS of your book, please change their names. Please protect them--and even if you despise your wife, you must do it. And DEFINITELY do it for your boy.

    lx

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 6:24 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • Editor's note, I've scrubbed the names to protect the innocent. Everyone erase your tapes. Thanks readers for the continued advice, support, and yes criticism!

    By Blogger Plantation, at 7:10 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • Your honesty is incredible. It's not easy for me to deal with many of those emotions honestly, and that's not even posting them on the internet for the world to see.
    It's amazing, that even has fully-fledged adults, we have the same dating/relationship problems as teenagers!
    So much for adulthood being clearer.
    Good luck.

    By Blogger Gatsby, at 7:23 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • It's me again: the previous "Anonymous". First, of course all I have to go on are your postings! Would you expect that I -or anyone- could somehow delve into your psyche, and determine that despite the facts of your actions, you are actually a "good guy"? Based on what you write, you might really not be. Perhaps you should take a closer look at who you are. Your behavior matters as much if not more than your intentions. If you don't want to be player, you can't "play"; can't play the field, can't play with people's feelings (I'll have sex with you, but don't ask me to commit to dating). See Rebbetzin Esther Jungries' book "The Committed Marriage" - especially the part about finding a mate. As for Jewish law: You are not to speak evil about anyone. Laws related to lashon hara (evil tongue) are numerous and complicated. Go to askmoses.com for more info, or look up Chofetz Chaim.

    Kudos for scrubbing the names. You asked what you would gain by it: you don't. Your son and the mother of your child deserve to have their dignity protected.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:53 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • OK Anon, it's clear we're not gonna agree on this one. And how does one define 'speaking evil' anyway? I guess I need to read 'the law.' Saying my wife was not passionate, in my view, is not speaking evil. And if the law says it *is* evil, then the law makes no sense to me. You are obviously a practicing Jew and know better than me. I've been out of it for too long. Heck, I married a Catholic girl and had been attending Catholic church for the past 12 years. I'm sure I broke the Jewish Law on that and countless other laws, too. Again, tks for reading and commenting...PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 8:39 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • Anon again. No time like the present - You can always return. My point is that you appear to truly want a moral compass; religion provides that - whether it's Judaism or Catholicism. The laws of lashon hara dictate that you do not speak about others outside of their presence because you can never gauge the aftereffects of your words. You went beyond stating that your marriage lacked passion, and gave details of dates and specific behaviors. Also, if you post your dating exploits on the web, naturally the women you pursue will be affected. If happiness is your goal - is this wise? Is this respectful?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:02 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • Anon, I write because this is me. I write for me. It's my passion. I am not a political writer. It's clear to me that I'm gonna be a law breaker because yes, I want to share my life, past, present, and future. I'm open and honest, and I guess this site, like all blogs, will not be to everyone's liking. So for those that don't like, I'm sure they're long gone. For those that stick around, I'm grateful to have faithful readers. The decision's yours dude (or Miss or Mrs.) I can't force you to stay.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:18 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • I have just been reading your blog for two days even though I have been familiar with your comments on another blog for several months now. I wish you well kindred spirit. I cannot read most blogs, but I find yours as compelling as that or even more compelling than that of Greek Tragedy. That's a compliment Mr. Moser. I hope things work out for you, your ex and son.

    As for the comments regarding speaking behind another's back, you didn't seem to be engaging in behavior that would be deemed to be covered by the moral prohibition. Few things are as offensive talking behind another's back. What's more offensive is doing both: saying something untrue and mean behind someone's back and saying it to their face in order to make oneself appear moral. Saying something true and mean in both situations is indicative of an excessive skill at hair-splitting morality.

    As for the long period without being with someone intimately, it's not such a big deal. What's even worse is knowing someone you genuinely desire and knowing that you will never be able to be with that person. That's painful. I have never been in that situation and don't particularly want to. Whenever I have sensed that a woman desired me to that degree without there being mutual interest, I have never let the woman know me well enough to put herself in that situation. That's compassion and that's why rejection is not such a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with being rejected and rejecting others if the rejection is done with a semblance of tact.

    Keep blogging!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 PM, January 02, 2005  

  • Anon II, I must admit when I saw 'Anon' again I said 'uh-oh.' Criticism is cool, but it's nice to read the other side of the coin, too. Tks for the compliments and, more importantly, your readership. Thing is, I'm not perfect and yes, I'm going to say things 'behind people's back.' Obviously, things that bother me are going be aired here. For example, people at work bother me, but I can't exactly go up to the CEO and say , 'dude I think you're an idiot.' Complaining, nagging, bitching (just broke another law somewhere), complimenting, opining, they're all part of life. I'm here observing and narrating. Like I said, this blog is not for everybody. But then again, what blog is?

    Keep on reading! PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 4:16 AM, January 03, 2005  

  • GG, yeah it doesn't get any easier, does it? Honesty has its advantages but it obviously can get you into hot water as evidenced above. Tks pal. I'll see ya out there in blogland. PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 4:21 AM, January 03, 2005  

  • Maintaining a blog like this (or like the millions others dealing with relationship problems) is a bit of a risk. On one hand, it's therapeutic; it gives the author an outlet to vent. On the other, it's malicious (if you use real names) and self-centered, in that you only get one side of the story--and sometimes, the venomous, vindictive side. You can expect to get comments of approval and of scathing criticism. There probably is nothing in between. You can expect to have problems with commentators--perhaps even a weird form of "blog-stalking." This kind of a blog (the "confessional") is very polarizing. Expect to get advice, too--something a lot of bloggers detest. The writer has the power and control to steer his blog whichever way he/she chooses. If this is for therapeutical reasons, perhaps one day it will do its job. If it's for vindictive reasons it will, one day, come back to haunt you--as the written word is ultra-powerful and can be used for or against one if not composed wisely. So...blog on, but expect bumpy waters.

    And, thank you...good move on changing names. If you're writing a "male confessional" of some sorts, it is imperative that you change names. It's not fair to the other party/parties. And it is completely unfair if there is a child involved.

    Good move on that. And, good luck.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 8:03 AM, January 03, 2005  

  • It's best not to use real names and even to make the scenarios a little distant as in "this happened to a friend of a friend," "I heard about this" or even "I experienced this with a friend who was going through it." Depending on the situation, it might make sense sometimes to wait 10 or more years before talking, if at all, about something involving others. Somethings are best never spoken of though. Hats off to GT for removing the name and pics of the ex.

    Anyway, what's worse than blog stalking, if such a thing even exists, is thinking that the blog is about you, and that's what we are talking about above. That's not something your ex Tom would ever think because it's clear that you are focused on the trip that is life and not keen on carrying baggage to the extent it is not helpful or unnecessary. If you have to mention your ex it might be a good idea to mention some good things as well from time to time. I have found that once I can identify one good thing about someone--no matter how trivial--it's much easier to deal with them; they remain human no matter how evil they may appear sometimes.

    Happy New Year! Forgot to mention it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:33 AM, January 03, 2005  

  • Whoa. This is quite a series of comments. Now you see what you risk when you expose yourself. Always someone who's going to tell you you're wrong. Welcome to the glamorous blogging world...

    By Blogger Esther Kustanowitz, at 12:09 PM, January 03, 2005  

  • what are you looking for? sounds like this single mom was not 'the one'. how will you know you have the right one. realize that there will always be someone better than the next. at some point you have to start living life and stop looking for this so called better woman. you will not find miss perfect. by the way, even if you found her, you wouldn't want her because she isn't real.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 PM, January 03, 2005  

  • Todd,

    I think you have every right to express your feelings. I don't think I've read anything that given the right opportunity you wouldn't say to the person driving those thoughts. Am I wrong?

    I do agree that names should be changed. On my blog, I sometimes use the real names, but only when those people already know about the blog or I know they wouldn't care. I use first initials when I try to protect a person's identity.

    Bottom line - everything in life is a crap shoot - even blogging!

    By Blogger M, at 6:47 PM, January 03, 2005  

  • Note to the other women:

    Todd may talk about you on his blog, laud the sexual attraction of other women he is also seeing at the same time, sometimes talk about you in unflattering ways, and justify it by applying the "I'm a writer and its my life and this is a blog" cover.

    I regret BIG TIME my contact with him. NO I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS BEING DISCUSSED ON THE INTERNET, but I know it now.

    A big tip of the hat to the pal who brought this to my attention.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 PM, January 03, 2005  

  • See what I mean? This is why you must change names and alter situations. A good writer incorporates what he knows as truth and what he wants to mold into "truth." I'm not sure what rubric your book may fall under--perhaps "memoir?" Although I would caution going that route--with all due respect, indeed who are you to write a memoir? You know what I'm trying to say. Not to be disrespectful. So I'm thinking the genre for which you're aiming is more like the "Sex in the City" type stuff--in which case you must write under the "fiction" rubric and change venues/names/characters/situations. I'm not sure how/if this blog relates to your book and what you're trying to achieve with the blog--but I predict more and more "victims" will be coming out of the woodwork to tell their side of the story. Expect to be criticized and even satirized by the women about whom you write. It's only fair.

    The book--you may need to reconsider changing scenes. I think you ought to write it as fiction.

    You once left a comment on my post "My Old Man" in which you asked: fact? fiction? or a combination of both? Since you are a friend, I will be honest with you and say that I absolutely despise people that ask that. It is what it is. You get it or don't. You like it or not. If you're a writer, then EVERYTHING is a combination of both. You write what you know--but you disguise it as best you can. Again I bring up Hemingway's advice on writing: "fiction is truer than the truth."

    Keep that in mind as you forge with your manuscript. The loveliest thing about writing is knowing how to mesh and incorporate what you know into "fiction" without letting on, and leaving the people who might recognize their role in your work, wondering whether that's them or not.

    That being said, back to Hemingway and "The Sun Also Rises." EVERYONE knew who they were in that novel, even though the names were changed and situations were mixed around. Still...it IS The Sun Also Rises and you can't argue with it.

    So...as you go through your revisions for the ms. start thinking about weaving your experiences into some sort of fictitious account. This way you won't find yourself with a defamation suit or slander suit, or just your car on fire...

    Sorry for being so forward and giving you advice. You are a friend, and I want you to succeed with your book.

    lx

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 8:54 AM, January 04, 2005  

  • Right on Sister Anon!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:25 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Sister(s) Anon,

    Obviously I've made someone unhappy and for that I'm sorry. I'm not gonna argue the points made because it's pretty fruitless. I don't have time for negative energy anymore and I don't hold grudges or blame anymore. I accept your criticism; it's part of blogging and I guess I am making some unintentional enemies along the way. All I can say is that on 11/20, I sent out an email with your name(s) on it to say I had started a new web log and to go read it. Yet you said, "NO I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS BEING DISCUSSED ON THE INTERNET, but I know it now." Knowing you were on the email list, I did realize that you might read the post. I didn't mind because I thought the representation was fair. I'm sorry you found out 'second hand' but hey, I gave you an open invitation. I'm sorry you feel 'invaded' and sorry you regret 'contact' with me. Good luck, I hope you find Mr Right someday...PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 5:49 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • PS, Sisters Anon,

    You'll be cheering and laughing your heads off and screaming at me, "what goes around, comes around." come the next post. Enjoy yourselves...PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 5:52 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • why is it PT, that you think that I am looking for Mr. Right? Actually, I am searching for happiness within, first and formost. With that, I hope to find love outside myself; like everyone...until then, I am happy to be me...tout seulement...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:18 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Sister Anon, I AM sorry, truly. I really do like you. I hope you believe that. I guess this is it, and for that, I'm saddened. I wish you the best within AND without...PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 6:38 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Peoples, Peoples! There is no Mr. or Ms. Right. There is only the perception. You attract exactly what you put out there.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 7:28 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Todd...do you really know who you are addressing your comments to...for that I am saddened...truly...for you...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:06 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Good luck, dude. You need it.

    SuperAndy.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:23 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Sister Anon, there are a few possibilities not just one. I know who I hope it ISN'T. Care to give an idiot a hint?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 1:20 AM, January 05, 2005  

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