i had forgotten what an insane group of friends i have. y'all, we tromped thru the dark and the snow to a shack in the woods just to play poker. and it was *cold* last night. the stove had been fired up a few hours before we got out there, but it hadn't really been stoked up to heat the place until we got out there. so, i'm sitting in the cat bird seat (right in front of the stove), with about 3 layers and a hat still on, trying to thaw my fingers enough to shuffle the cards. it got better as more people showed up, and the argonaut kept stoking the fire (altho at one point i hadn't realized he'd opened the stove door, and thought my ass was on fire, which was relatively entertaining for everyone). par for the course, i managed to lose most of the opening hands rather spectacularly, even with a flush. i thought i was good to go with a 10 high flush, but noooooooo. four of a kind kicked my butt. 'bout half way thru, tho, i won a few fairly decent hands and redeemed my bruised ego. our host had an interesting exercise for us last night: he broke out two bottles for side-by-each comparison. exact same grape, exact same year, and the vineyard made it into both a table wine and a late bottled vintage. it was amazing to taste the difference between the two and realize that it was the same input, different processes.
frenchy has had a rough week; he had to have his oldest dog put to sleep. Bo Mar Houston was a wonderful greyhound, who graced very few people with puppy kisses (i was one of the lucky few). about a week ago, he stopped eating, and the vet discovered a large tumor in his chest. frenchy is a wonderful doggy parent, and gave Bo the gift of a graceful goodbye. Bo, you'll be remembered and missed.
and as for me... i'm feeling dissatisfied and restless. part of it comes from making all these lists of things to do, and then not doing them, which makes me feel like a slob. but also, there's something not quite right with my relationship these days, and i can't put my finger on it. it may be all from my side, obsessing about whether things are going alright. or it may be coming from sweetie's general stress about work. or maybe something that i haven't identified yet is bubbling away under the surface. mostly, i find myself feeling taken for granted. i'm starting to feel like a pleasant diversion, and that's not good.
~sigh~ so... where does this come from? since we got back together, we spend nearly all our time together at his house. this is a switch, as it used to be more 50/50. the schedule is pretty much at his discretion. i've suggested things to do, but he more often than not gets to make the call. i've left a few things over there, mostly bathroom things; but when i mentioned that dragging a big bag of stuff around was getting tedious and could i leave a few things there, he got very jumpy and said something about 'moving too fast'. for what? glacial flow? c'mon, it's been about six months and you feel threatened by a few pairs of underwear? what am i missing here?
reactions like that make me feel as if i'm just a diversion, until he figures out what he really wants to do, which may or may not (more likely not, it feels) be with me. i don't seem to rate very highly in his life, which is certainly his choice, if in fact it's his choice at all; it's possible that he's so wrapped up in his own stuff that he's unaware of how his actions come across, altho i've tried to explain it on various occasions. the most recent was the discussion about the keys. he still had keys to his ex-girlfriend's house, which she had given him when he went over to take care of her after her surgery. fine. but he hadn't given them back. hm. and he didn't see why it might be a problem if he kept them. erg. i tried to explain that it's a pretty intimate thing to give someone keys to your place, and the fact that he's already left me for her once doesn't make me feel very secure. he said it made it more convenient to visit her, since her doorbell is broken. yeah, right. listen to that - 'it's easier to get into her house if i have the keys.' but... he and i are dating, and he feels no need to have keys to my place. he says i'm always there when he comes to visit, so there's no issue. uh-huh. and he felt compelled to say that he is not and never will be sleeping with her. dude, if you feel the need to defend yourself in that way, then maybe you should just acknowledge that there is a problem.
i finally set it out this way: you make the choices you want to make, and i will react to them as i see appropriate; be aware that some of your choices will result in me leaving. and miraculously, i really meant it. i would rather deal with some pain now than greater pain in the future. we got past this bit, and he did give the keys back. (she got a little bent out of shape that i always seem to come up in their conversations. deal with it.) but there's so much more to do. and it may still be that i walk away from this in order to protect myself.
mostly, i wish i could stop obsessing about the ex-girlfriend. the thing is, she's done so many deliberately provocative and hurtful things that i'm having a hard time setting it aside. when sweetie broke up with me, she happened to be there and heard the conversation. she came over to 'say hi' - but if she'd really heard the whole conversation, she'd know that she was the last person i wanted to see. she just wanted to rub it in. they fucked soon after that. after he and i got back together, she bought him underwear. and a $500 camera. and several expensive dinners. and god only knows what else. she refuses to acknowledge my presence in his life, despite the fact that i've worked pretty damn hard to be open and accepting of her. she sent me an incredibly mean email, and i can't accept that it was an accident. the woman is not dumb. and she hasn't apologized for it. not to me, anyway. apparently she saw fit to apologize to him, while denigrating my feeble attempts to be kind in the same breath. and this all seems to be okay with him. and it hurts a lot.
but... if i continue to give this woman power by worrying about the situation, i can only hurt myself. somehow, i need to find the strength to recognize that i'm a pretty damn wonderful person, and who she may or may not be does not change that one whit. i need to set aside all this crap, refuse to play her damn mind fuck game, and move on. i have to keep the good things about my relationship with sweetie in view, not ignoring the harder stuff, but putting it into perspective. balance, little cricket, balance. meditate on the positive. because as cranky as i am right now, i do see that there are a lot of positive things between he and me, and i don't want to lose those because i got my shorts in a knot about a relatively small thing. (right. keep repeating that bit.)