Thursday, March 01, 2007

All my eggs

Goodness knows, I had all my eggs in one basket in my previous long term relationships. Although ADHD people are supposed to multi-task well, I prefer to date one guy at a time. With my schedule of not having random evenings or each weekend off, I think juggling would be very stressful, as I think it would be tinged with lies and half-truths.

That said, I need to do a better job of it so I don't feel so attached, then suddenly unattached completely.

Last evening, I spoke over an hour with Owen, I guy I'd talked to once before. We've had an IM conversation going; we haven't seen each other because he's been traveling/receiving visitors on the weekends I've been free. I gave him a time block to call, after J left with his dad and before my planned weekly 'picnic' with Ted. I told Owen I was going to a movie with a girlfriend and my toes curl at the lie, but Owen is very considerate and I do think he'd be happy with 'just' friendship. He's kind of the engineer type, not fluid with words, but I am realizing his analytical side has a lot of depth. He's a good guy, just don't know if he's my guy.

I then went to Ted's. We now have a Wednesday night routine where I order NetFlix he's been wanting to see, or in the case of this week a flick he wanted me to see, and we eat on a folding bed table on his high, huge bed. I bring my portable DVD player and it is quite cozy. Last week, we got Chinese. This week, I brought my favorite shrimp salad and made wraps. Dinner was superb.

He's been wanting to see Crash and I know how much he would enjoy it with its Pulp Fiction-y overlap of stories, Ted of the ADHD multi-task. The first time I'd seen it was in the theater with L and P. L cried like a baby, the story of the kindly, jovial black thief reminding her of her boyfriend. Afterwards, P commented on the main thrust of the whole movie, a line by Matt Dillon's crooked cop character to the effect, "Don't judge. You don't know what you'll be capable of in the future." My, how those words ring true.

That concept is one third of what I take from the movie. The other two ideas are that everybody is a racist because labels are so easy to sling. The other is that everybody has/does both good and bad; it only depends on which moment you catch them.

So the movie was good, but then we were bad, still not completely bad, but still very satisfying. We're so good at talking and good at hanging out nekked that his fears about P-given disease don't make me feel bad. Great feat, there.

Shortly, I will have lunch with another guy. I'll call him Cooper. He and I had an email relationship before I began with P. He was stationed in Bos-nia and came from not far from here. His wife had cheated on him, his business was in turmoil, his kids suffering. He had a hard time and called a number of times from Bos-nia. In fact, around Easter three years ago (while I was with P, but I told him about everything) Cooper sent me a care package of Bos-nian lace, wine, folk art, etc and I still eagerly await its arrival. Such was customs out of Bos-nia.

When he returned stateside and lived locally, he emailed me and I said I was engaged, that I'd preferred to not see him. When things turned here, I emailed him last fall, but it bounced. Alas, he emailed me last week. He mentioned dating and seeing someone, but I don't know the degree of the seeing. I'll find out today.

Which means I really need to get my hair dried and clothes on, but I wanted to convey the state of the stable and how there needs to be a stable right now. The risk is hurting Ted, as he'd tried to call twice while I was on the phone with Owen (Ted usually doesn't get home until 7:30, but he rushed his little butt home early on my account), but I didn't fess up to Owen this time. Ted knows someone has called in the past and asked me out for Valentine's Day, but there was no reason to taint our evening together telling him more than he needed to know.

How do women really juggle men and do so with integrity?

ETA: Lunch was a moderate success. We had a great time talking and catching up. He is a very sweet guy, cute in a shy kind of way, a mountain boy. When he finally spoke of his relationship, he said they've been going out a little over a year. I guess that rules out casual. At the same time, he drives 2-3h each way to spend the night with his kids every other night. I do not see how the woman he dates bears it. I could not. Alas.

As we were leaving, he went to his car and brought me a bottle of Bos-nian wine to make up for the reverse care package that I never got. At the same time, he said to let him know if I wanted to go to lunch in the future, please do, because everyone needs all the friends we can get.

Why did that rub me so wrong? I know he's taken. I know he naturally wanted boundaries. But the friends comment made my face sour or fall or look odd all the sudden and then his did the same in return. It was subtle, but there.

I don't know if I'll ask for lunch again, but I emailed him thanks. Perhaps he ruled himself out of the stable completely. Too complicated.


Well-heeled mom said...

I've never done it. I must admit, though, that I find the idea of casually dating several men at the same time intriguing.

DD said...

I think considering the availability of other men in your life, Cooper shouldn't be one you add to the mix. It's not fair to him and his current relationship, but it's certainly not fair to you.