Newest Member: Notarunnerup

Chili

2012 pretty much sucked. Things no longer suck. Loving flying solo with the co-pilot chili dog. "Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough" - Tony Bennett

A Little Snark for the DS'ers (Long)

I pick great friends. Interesting, genuine, brave, reliable, accomplished, self-actualized, generous, and hilarious friends. But I chose serial cheaters to partner up with. I also made sure to invest several years in them. I preferred ones whose emotional maturity never progressed past the age of 15. Their inner demons rumbled close to the surface in a way that could easily be mistaken for flatulence.

Of course, I was going to be Ms (and even Mrs.) Fix-It which was evidently my dream job. Turns out these man-boys had their own tools for self-soothing when that old friend “I’m just not happy” came calling. They fed those untamed beasts with other women. Assclown even skipped off hand-in-hand with what’s-her to the misty lands of everything is all better now.

The last time I stood up from being a sobbing pile of bones on the floor, I decided to see if I could flip hurt and hate on its head - changing the narrative loop set on replay in my own brain. Instead of feeling like my life had gone to shit and they were off flitting and prancing about in ever-unicorn loo-loo land, it was time to get real and tell a tale of true lurve for our star-crossed soulmate…things.

• The first item of business is to have a kind of debutante ball, introducing our couplet into polite society. Make sure to hire a clown or bouncy house. Spin lots of yacht rock – Steal Away by Robert Dupree or The Pina Colada song are both crowd favorites. Lay Lady Lay is always a winner when a DJ hired from the roller rink calls for couples only. (Bonus points because it includes the lyric “You can have your cake and eat it too”)

• Don’t forget to paint overpasses, carve initials into trees, and appear on the kiss cam. Win stuffed animals at the fair or have a 9 ½ weeks moment in front of the fridge (applies only if someone remembered to grocery shop).

• Also, while at the carnival, make sure to put your hands in the back pockets of each other’s jean shorts as you stroll the Midway. Matching air-brushed T-shirts make a beautiful souvenir.

• As to how they met – either quote one of the above songs or emphasize how “it just happened.” Both of them happened to be walking down the same street when one tripped and just fell onto the other’s genitals. Whoopsie Daisies!

• Crowd the first bookshelves they’ve ever owned with self-help best-sellers they’ve actually read. Some are even highlighted with lots of pretty colors. They go to couples counseling and tell the truth.

• Their life plan consists solely of “being together.”

• No one ever apologizes because, you know, Love Story.

• Real life never intrudes. No one ages, gets sick, loses a job, or has a loved one die. They also don’t have to pay bills, cook dinner, or launder each other’s funky underwear. They adore all the in-laws.

• They will never cheat on the other because of that soulmate thingy. A little flirting. Or just kissing. Maybe 3rd base in a parking lot. But no cheating. And no one ever gets traded in for a new model…

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov'd,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

-William Shakespeare

(Anyone else got some snark to add to the list? )

[This message edited by Chili at 9:49 PM, July 29th (Thursday)]

9 comments posted: Thursday, July 29th, 2021

2020 - A Vent Thread

Just making a place to bitch.

Every day I tell myself there are so many people right now who have things worse, which is true. But every single one of us has been kicked around this year and there are a couple of things I'm just flat out pissed off about.

So I thought I'd have a 2020 vent moment.

I'm pissed that:

1. I lost my old friend to an overdose. That after 25 years clean, something aligned this year and she had a 'fuck it' moment that killed her. I had to say good-bye virtually. I miss her. And I can't even take her ashes to the place where I think she might like to be.

2. So many people are hurting in my world and I feel so helpless to make any meaningful difference.

3. My faith in the idea of a greater good is waning. Lots of the 'greater self' going around.

I swear everyone's cheese is about to slide off their cracker.

Anyone else care to vent some of their 2020 shit?

22 comments posted: Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

Flying Solo for Holidays?

This will be a first for me - to not travel and be with family or friends - visit or host or whatnot. I know I'll be in (probably lots of) contact with folks, but really it'll just be me and the pup.

I'm not particularly blue about it - 'cause you know, 2020 - and that's been the norm for me this year.

Just trying to cipher out what the hell I might want to do with myself to make a moment. Maybe a stroll in the woods or cook up a big pot of _____? Or it might be cool to make some music.

It would've been a perfect time to go somewhere and volunteer, but yeah, see above.

Any one else flying solo got a game plan for a thing?

16 comments posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Welp...My Turn.

Backstory: SO I and together just over 7 years. Living together but apart.

Current story: It’s going to have to be over. What started as a necessary Covid break because of life circumstances became a Covid clusterfuck.

No need to read further, but the following novella is the rest of the story:

Those life circumstances – some I came into the relationship expecting to navigate – kids, profession. We also weathered years of challenges – some unexpected. But also teenagers, deaths, medical issues – stressors and events that all relationships face. Had fairly regular sessions together with my longtime IC who helped guide us from time to time. No major ick along the way.

Last year or so I’d been bringing to the table my wanting to be more connected. To carve out time in these crazy lives for just us. To work at nurturing our shared experiences. I saw this as a crinkle. You know – common relationship stuff at having to be mindful about watering your own grass.

March. Covid. Physical separation. Surgery needed for him. I jump in as his caretaker – going back and forth to his house to look after him and do the things I do. Cooking and stocking fridge for him and kids – trying to be safe all along until he heals enough to drive after 2 months. As we approach the other side of that, I’m pretty exhausted. Managing my own life and a chunk of his over there and all the shit that has come with these days – I don’t even need to type it out - you all know how hard things are for everyone.

In a phone call one night I tell him directly I need some emotional support – I don’t even know what I asked for – kindness – compassion – acknowledgment …but that I was feeling pretty puny right about then and could use some lifting up. He asked “what am I supposed to do?” I rattled off 4-5 making up shit off the top of my head possible gestures – leaving a little note in the empty Tupperware containers the next time I was there. Maybe call in an order for a surprise food delivery for me one night. Text me something silly or interesting or…? He replied with: “You have chosen to live the life you do and it seems to me like you need to be the one to live with those choices.” No shit – he said that. I wasn’t even sure at first what it meant, but the next day it sure translated in my head as “I got nothing for you. Suck it up Buttercup.”

So I checked in with him in case I was just being Covid crazy and yep – that’s pretty much what he meant according to the additional word salad I received.

So I smacked down a boundary. I said that I was shocked but appreciated him being honest with me. And that maybe we shouldn’t be beating our heads against the wall. Maybe we should take a break from taking care of each other. That we should both live with our own life choices. And if he wanted something different to let me know. His reply was simply: “Ok.”

That was June. Crickets. Total freeze out. Not a word from him since.

I could speculate all day. Real him revealed during time of high stress. At his limit of coping skills. Coward. Passive-Aggressive. Built up resentments. Emotionally detached. Depressed. Or since this is SI – cheating? I don’t know. It’s still his shit.

But I have nothing to work with. Nothing.

So I went back to my own detaching guide and read my own tips. I’ve re-assembled my posse (virtually). I’ve been seeing IC (virtually). I’ve been making new plans for my future as much as I can in these wacky days. I’m taking good care of myself. And I told the new beginning dog (who is the best co-pilot ever) that it’s back to just us. And that will be more than just fine. I have loose ends to tie up with him and I’ll deal with those when I’m ready. In a way that’s healthiest for me.

I’m angry. I’m very sad. I miss the kids. I’m feeling all those things that you feel when a relationship is ending. I hate that I so carefully and slowly brought him so into my family and life and now I’ve had to try and explain what the hell is going on. I mostly hate that feeling of: “another one didn’t work.” I keep thinking of that T.S. Eliot line about things ending not with a bang, but with a whimper. Sigh.

68 comments posted: Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Annual Plug For Christmas Card Exchange

For those D/S-ers who don't venture down into Fun & Games, I just wanted to promote the SI annual exchange. I signed up facing that first holiday season alone not knowing quite what to expect. And it turned out to be the coolest thing ever. How affirming it was to receive a huge bundle of cards from internet strangers who just *got it.*

It is done 100% anonymously. Some greetings include little personal notes - many are handmade and show the amazing creative talents of folks around here - and nearly all of them are filled with some form of glitter or other seasonal swag. Out-glittering each other is sport. I open my cards over bowls and put the glitter into a clear ornament to hang on the tree each year. Those make me smile as well.

It's a really wonderful tradition especially since Christmas was one of the founder's favorite holidays. Ok - hard sell over. I think the sign-up ends at the end of October. Head on over to F&G and check out the thread. Hope to see some fellow travelers on the listy! Glitter on.

10 comments posted: Monday, September 14th, 2020

Alone-ness in the Time of Covid (long)

So during these strange Covid days, it feels a lot like those months after Dday. Because of circumstances, right now it’s back to just me and the New Beginning dog eight years later. And those coping skills and resilience I relied on back then have resurfaced and been quite handy. I suspect all of our futures are a little foggy in one way or another, so there’s that post-Dday feeling of the unknown in the mix as well.

For me, my infidelity journey put a spotlight on a whole lot of shit besides the cheating. I think these past 4 months have also had a way of separating the wheat from the chaff as it were.

Here’s a few ramblings I’ve been ruminating on of late:

1. I’m going to be old and alone. I am not married. I do not have kids. For a while, I actually felt a little sorry for myself and wondered if I would be by myself when I was older. I don’t know why I held on to this for so long, but it was a big news flash when I realized a few things. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean they might not die first. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean they will have the skills or physical ability to be on the same page with you in old age. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you’ll have that kind of relationship with them. What if they marry and move around the world? Or any other number of things.

It was such a “duh” moment. I guess I always heard people whisper about “I hope she finds *somebody.* But I think I’ve done a lot better than that. I’ve nurtured a whole bunch of *somebodies* (including myself) in my life. And some serious lifelong friends. I also think I would love being single in the right *senior living community.* And as I mentioned on another thread – it’s only half-joking that several of my friends will live together in at least close proximity some day. I think a collective is a wonderful thing which circles me back to the posse thing.

2. Posse in effect and we’re doin’ the do (I stole that). I’ve been hearing lovely stories of how everyone is reaching out to their people these days. I know I’ve felt such huge love from all over the place. Even though I haven’t had more than a few driveway or deck moments face-to-face, I feel really connected. And make sure I give as much as I get. I have such funny, genuine, creative, and interesting friends (I should have picked men back in the day more like my friends actually). Sadly, one of my friends also died during this time, so finding ways to acknowledge those loses takes a little extra finagling in these days of virtual funerals. I’m also slightly questioning if a relationship or two will become covid-collateral damage now that the spotlight has hit them. I’m trying to reserve making huge decisions about anything right now since we’re all a little twitchier than we might realize.

3. Needs. Mine have changed big time as I’ve aged. They used to be kind of delusional actually. I would dump everything on the man in my life and make him responsible for my happy and self-worth. Now, they are realistic. And pretty basic. And I finally realize they don’t all have to be met by one person in my life. Here’s just a few: joy, companionship, shared experiences, affection, physical closeness, curiosity and discovery, celebrating each other’s accomplishments, comfort and support... When I was running this by someone the other day, they said “You know, you can get most of those things from your friends, right?” So true. (Actually my pup is pretty good at a lot of the above as well). Doesn’t mean I don’t like having an exclusive somebody to build a life with, but it is freeing to open your world. I don’t need someone to do things for me that I can do for myself. Like that happy or self worth thing. Or the paying bills and house maintenance stuff. I’m incredibly lucky to have forged a life that allows me to take care of the basic day to day.

4. Covid-y Needs/Boundaries. I’ve also had to remind myself that I have the right to stand up for what I’m comfortable with/not comfortable with right now. Not everyone is going to agree with my limits but I hope they can respect them (hence the covid collateral strain on a few relationships). My go-to is “This is what I think is best for me right now.”

5. That outcome thing. I’m not by personality a particularly anxious person, but I fully admit to some days with the little roller coaster gut drops or moments of the pulse racing a bit. This whole operating in the unknown is just uncomfortable. I’m one who loves to have a *something* to look forward to. All of my favorite things have been cancelled. Concerts. Travel. Dining as Entertainment. That’s minimal compared with others’ struggles. And some of my people are sick. Some are very very sick. We all know how difficult this has been – lost jobs, others overworked, mental health struggles, addiction, school futures and all the kid stuff, domestic violence. It’s heavy. So when I get lost in the spiral of unhelpful thinking I try and do a couple of things. First, I use my old standby of “what do I have to work with right now.” Here’s what I can do something about. Whether it’s calling a friend in a City that is particularly struggling or sending money to a business owner who desperately needs it or doing something where I can have an effect in my little piece of the world. I also rely on “Well, I’m on the right side of the dirt today so how can I celebrate that just a little.” I try and laugh. A lot. After Dday I also learned how to sit quietly whether it was in a piece of garden I just weeded while petting the dog or taking a drive to a new place just to watch the sun set. Little stuff. To make a Godfather reference (because they are clichéd and fun) – remember the pear scene? Like that.

I also don’t deny that things may completely go to shit at any time. My business could hit a brick wall. My family may get sick. I may get sick. Another friend may die. But I have to trust myself that I will know how to figure it out as it comes.

6. Not letting myself get stuck. Sure we’ve all had our life options massively limited. And I have had a few days where I just need to sleepwalk through the hours until it’s time to go to bed. I suppose that’s not the worst kind of self-care ever. But I’m trying really hard to keep myself engaged in some new stuff to feed the spirit and give my brain new things to think about besides this shit. I’m reading even more. Virtual touring museums. Journaling. Teaching the dog scent training. And sometimes just making up random shit to do that makes me not feel like a slug.

7. IC. I started a thread about needing a dose and Yep – it’s a great time for us to do a tune-up or get to know one. Especially if you’re alone, it’s so helpful to get out of your own head for an hour here and there. Or have new eyes take a look at a situation. My IC recently gave me a completely different way of seeing something. It never would have occurred to me on my own. By the way, I’ve also heard of a few grants in my area that are waiving co-pays and costs for therapy visits. I think this is brilliant.

So what about my fellow D/S-ers. You been up in the attic dusting off some old friends as well? Would love to hear your stories.

11 comments posted: Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Anyone Else Needing a Dose of IC?

I know I am these days.

Sometimes we all find ourselves due for a little maintenance, yeah? I'm definitely due for a tune-up - particularly on the resilience front. And maybe just a reality check in general. I know I've referenced my long time IC around here who literally picked me up after Dday...and other life events now that I think on it. Anyway, I got this email reminder today with this subject line:

Link for your much-needed mental health smack up side the head

Sounds about right. I'll let you all know if I gather any tips for our toolboxes.

8 comments posted: Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Ramblings About Resilience

You know those periods where life just seems to pile on and tests your resilience?

Dealing with any variation of infidelity AND _______ life event can be particularly sucky. And sometimes just those life events alone can test our strength. I remember reading at some point about the Japanese concept of the inherent sadness of being human. So kind of like that.

I was kicking this around the other day with IC because I was feeling like my well of coping was starting to run a little dry. Since late Fall last year – it just seems I’m having this series of unexpected events that come in waves and layers. The feeling of “I just need one damn thing to go right.” Then I read something on here from someone in a certain forum lamenting “when do I get my time – I should get to pursue my own happiness and joy and good time charlie fun and when does it all get to be about me and my feelings” – or at least that’s what the translator in my head told me. And I think my eyes rolled in my head and I might have sighed out loud a little dramatically.

Tapping into my resilience after infidelity was one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever made. On the other side of that I have few fears that I have the tools to get through all sorts of shit. But you know, sometimes you just get a little tired. I was making a long road trip for work and while tooling along, I had this little tiny tickle of nausea deep in my belly. And it’s not that anything is particularly “wrong” – it’s just stuff we all have to face (well…those of us who choose to address things in our lives instead of run from them in unhealthy ways).

So here’s a couple of recent examples and my two of little ways of coping:

The Gratitude Thing.

Trying to quickly fly across the country to be with oldest friend and my goddaughter after a sudden death in their family. Funeral arrangements happening quickly – lots of scrambling - you can imagine the routine. Night before morning flight – furnace quits working. Single digit temperatures on the way. Good fun. The days out there were difficult but wonderful at the same time – travel was exhausting – furnace was expensive. But you know, this is when I really took one of those minutes to practice that cliché gratitude thing. How incredible is it that I have a life that allows me to really be there for others when they need it? And the support system on the home front to step in and help get things fixed? There was not a single thing about that series of events that was “fun.” But I do think there is true joy in celebrating the real shit.

The Humor Thing.

Humor is always my favorite way to flip the absurdity of life. So on the heels of the above, I decided to be good and keep my appointment for a colonoscopy. Bad roll of dice: I got the 4 liter split prep eau de citrus nastiness in a jug. Prep is cruising…or maybe that was me cruising in and out of the bathroom. Let dog out in between one of these visits and apparently he eats a big mouthful of grass (I'm not really sure, I was inside expelling random organs into the toilet). In between another one of my trips to the bathroom (we’re full on at this point and I’m getting a little weak and oh so done but we’re still drinking shots so it won’t end soon), dog pukes said grass in the middle of the floor. Now, I actually had to stand there for a minute looking at the floor wondering if when I bent down to clean it up I was going to shit my pants. Should I sort of fall to the ground on my hip instead? Squatting definitely a no go. How to come at this so I don’t have to clean up shit and puke at the same time? Oh yeah, this kind of problem-solving moment is just so joyful and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t pursing my own happiness right then. But it was funny as fuck. (Epilogue: don’t have to get another colonoscopy for 10 years. Thank you blessed GI Goddess).

So the challenge from IC was to come up with a “something” for myself. I know I’ve talked here about giving ourselves permission to be a little frivolous – to really carve out time or money or space and give ourselves a break. So mine is looking forward to the first nice Spring day – splurging on beautiful fresh food and maybe a bottle of wine – buy a pot of early season flowers – put on some good tunes and sit on my deck with SO and pup and just…be. Probably not very exciting. But it’s for sure attainable and gives me a little something something to look forward to and plan in my head.

Anyone else got some tips from their own toolbox that have worked for you?

[This message edited by Chili at 11:56 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

8 comments posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Cool Quote

Someone sent this to me today. I thought it was so great - just had to share.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."

[Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]”

― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

4 comments posted: Monday, April 15th, 2019

Anyone Else a Thread-killer?

I swear, sometimes it feels like the quickest way to end a thread (besides Sisoon or WOES whipping out the padlocks in quick draw fashion) is for me to post on it.

Apparently whatever I've been saying lately is not conducive to continued dialogue. Honest, I'm not actively trying to be the kiss of death.

Any other certifiable thread enders out there?

[This message edited by Chili at 11:56 AM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

864 comments posted: Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Copyediting Rant Take 2

I swear....I can't take it.

This time non-fiction. Heard author (long-time journalist) during NPR interview. Fascinating subject. Sounded promising. Nothing like opening (and smelling) a new book.

Has to be one of the worst editing jobs I've seen in a long time. Horrible continuity. I can let some of that slide. Big stories are difficult to order sometimes.

But the proofreading mistakes? Yee gads.

My two favorites.

2108 for 2018 (twice)

and

As they headed back to the coast, Kevin, finally they would all be back together as a family.

I still wonder who Kevin might be. Is this a subliminal message to a mystery Kevin? No Kevin anywhere else in the book. Is there a coast somewhere named Kevin?

Sigh.

I'm one step away from calling up this publisher and asking if I can donate my time to be an Advanced Reader or something. Think they would be open? I'm actually kind of serious about this. Maybe I should quit complaining and do something...

Or maybe I'm a dinosaur and just need to get over it?

5 comments posted: Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Copyediting Rant

Ok - so I just needed to vent this into the book universe and figured you folks would get it...

In two recent books - both by big time authors - published by big houses - I have found some major glaring editing issues. Typos - spelling errors - really stupid grammatical mistakes. Not all over the place, but enough to really piss me right off. You want us to pay...what is it now full price hardcover for some of these books...$35? And you have these kinds of mistakes?

Seriously - how many people have taken a look at this manuscript before it goes to press. How many advanced copies did you send out to other authors or critics to get your little back cover blurb? Certainly _____ & ______ publishing company had 20 different eyes on this thing and NO ONE caught it?

I mean, I know I'm hypersensitive to this stuff for various reasons, but it's insulting to readers.

Whew - that feels better.

(Don't get me started on fact-checking.)

14 comments posted: Monday, April 30th, 2018

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