Who’s That Girl?

When I first got divorced, I was so starved for physical contact and attention that I soaked it up like a sponge. I was flattered by the attention I got and loved feeling sexy and pretty, even if there was ultimately no emotional connection behind it. My confidence grew. But little by little, it started to not feel so good. I started to realize I was nothing more than a piece of ass to most of these guys, and that was the opposite of the progress I was attempting to make in my life.

I started being more choosy in whom I spent time with. I stopped responding to the booty calls that once made me feel wanted and desired. I decided that being alone sometimes on the weekends was preferable to feeling cheap and nameless.

A week or so ago, I ran into Eric at the grocery store. I’ve bumped into him a few times before, and every time, he wanted me to go somewhere to hook up. Every time I said no. This time, though, I was disgusted. I initially tried to just be nice and walk away, but he kept appearing in whatever aisle I was in, making comments and looking me up and down. The final straw was when he actually pressed up against me and said, “See, you got my dick hard.” I quickly walked away from him and he said he was going to wait for me in the parking lot. That really scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, he was nowhere in sight when I left, and I texted him saying to leave me the hell alone. He replied back saying I was crazy for thinking he was being anything but nice and that he only hooks up with pretty girls. Whatever, dude. Those ‘pretty girls’ can have your nasty self.

That incident made me realize just how far I’ve come. A few short years ago, I very likely may have gone and hooked up with him anyway. A few short years ago, I just wanted to feel wanted.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve kind of given myself a gradual makeover since my divorce. Now I hardly recognize myself. A few weeks ago, I was walking down the hall at work feeling pretty good in a cute skirt and top with wedge heels. I suddenly had this surreal moment of seeing myself through the eyes of myself from 9 or 10 years ago. If someone had shown me back then how I’d look and feel now, I would have never believed it. If the me from 10 years ago, in comfortable baggy jeans and shapeless t-shirt, had seen the me of today,  not only wearing clothes that fit properly, but wearing heels and makeup (voluntarily!), I would have assumed it was a mistake. Without realizing it, I’m slowly becoming the me I always longed to be but never thought I could be. I’m confident enough to wear more girly clothes, to show a little leg, and to feel ok in my own skin. Several years ago, I heard someone say, “Whatever it is you are — tall, short, skinny, fat, black, or white — own that.” I think now, I’m finally living by that advice.

Last year I went to my class reunion and decided to wear a maxi dress that made me feel sexy and pretty. At the previous reunion, I wore jeans and a casual top, hoping to blend in and go unnoticed. This time, I wanted to feel good. Sure, I’ve gained some weight since we graduated from high school, but so what? Lots of girls from my class have put on a few pounds. I walked in there feeling great and was surprised to realize I really didn’t care if my classmates noticed my weight. I saw that several of the other girls were wearing clothes that covered them up (like I used to wear), hoping to conceal their larger middles or more ample behinds. None of them looked comfortable or confident. I walked in there and owned who I am and I felt amazing. Maybe they thought I looked good, maybe they didn’t, but I had a great time and felt unstoppable, and it made all the difference.

 

 

Many times, my friends have said my ex-husband must see me now and wonder what happened. I never looked or acted like this, even in my twenties when I weighed considerably less. There’s much to be said for shedding one’s skin, dumping one’s baggage, and looking forward. I used to look back with disdain for my old self. I was embarrassed at how much I had let myself go and how I didn’t care at all about how I looked. But now I realize I needed to go through that to get here. The old me is someone to be proud of, doing the best she could with a shitty situation. Now I embrace that old me and hope that she would be proud of the new (and still improving) me and know that she helped me get here.

I know all of this might sound incredibly conceited, but really, I’m in awe of all I’ve accomplished. I’m a better me in pretty much every area of my life: my job performance has drastically improved, my general attitude has improved, and I’m definitely a much better mom now. So no, I won’t apologize for tooting my own horn occasionally because for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I have something to toot about.

 

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Where Will the Nice Guy Finish?

Dustin is a guy I’m good friends with who is the eternal ‘nice guy.’ He’s good looking, sweet, and funny, and a good Christian with good morals, but he makes terrible choices when it comes to dating.

First there was Stephanie, a girl he met at work. They dated for a while before he decided to take the plunge and propose. He went shopping, selected what he thought was the perfect ring for her, worked up his nerve, and said those four little words so many girls would love to hear: Will you marry me?

Stephanie threw a fit.

She was appalled at the engagement ring he had bought for her. The ring that he had saved up for, carefully selected, tucked in his pocket, and nervously offered to her in exchange for her hand in marriage was apparently NOT what she would have chosen. She threw such a fit that he took the ring back and took her shopping for what she really wanted. Now, being the somewhat prideful person I am, I would have taken the ring back and kept walking. But no, Dustin loved this girl and wanted her to be happy. I knew right then that if they stayed together and actually did get married, that he’d be spending the rest of his life trying to keep this unappreciative brat happy. But he’s my friend, and I was trying to be supportive, so I kept my thoughts to myself. She lives about an hour from work due to custody issues with her son, so Dustin {who had been living 10-15 minutes from work} moved in with her and assumed the role of father and provider, taking care of household repairs, cutting the lawn, and anything else she wanted him to do. The day she found out he was Replublican was a tense ride to work. She’s a diehard liberal and couldn’t tolerate his differeing views. The day he told me, somewhat sadly, that they had broken up, it took everything I had not to jump up and yell, “Hallelujah!!”

He felt bad just up and moving out on her, so he stayed for another month or so, continuing to cut the grass etc, helping her with expenses, and sharing her bed. Yup. I don’t know if he was hoping they could work things out or what, but for some reason he had trouble completely walking away.

The next object of Dustin’s desire was a friend of his from high school, whom he’d always had a thing for. She found him on Facebook and they began messaging back and forth. She was in the very early stages of a messy divorce, but he was still willing to see where things went. He actually drove 10 hours to visit and see her in person, only to find out she was nowhere near ending her marriage and that her husband was a very controlling and jealous nut. Needless to say, Dustin hightailed it back here, safely away from any further drama.

Most recently, he fell for his neighbor, a cute little blonde who immediately caught his eye. They both had dogs, so they began going for walks together and getting to know each other. After several weeks, they began dating and he couldn’t have been happier. Unfortunately, however, things very quickly went awry. They had only been officially dating for a week or two when they went to a bar one night. His girlfriend excused herself to use the restroom, and he became concerned when 15 or 20  minutes went by and she hadn’t come back. He started walking around looking for her, and found her in the back room of the bar, sitting on some guy’s lap and making out with him. Oh, and she was totally drunk.

Now, if this had been me walking in on such a scene, I would have simply left. No argument, no discussion, no hysterics, no anger. I would have left her there to find her own way home, and that would have been the end of the relationship. But Dustin, being the nice guy he is, went over to her, said, “You’re drunk, we need to go,” and began escorting her out. When he stopped to pay the bartender, she told him she had put drinks for all her ‘friends’ in the back room on his tab, and he actually paid it! All $85 of it. Again, I would have paid for my own drinks and left her there to sort it out herself.  When he was telling me this whole story, he said that from now on they’d need to stay home to drink because she couldn’t handle her liquor. -sigh-

They dated for another month or two after that before he decided she wasn’t ‘the one’ after all, and he broke up with her. Well…technically. She was still his neighbor, and while they were dating he had given her his key so she could walk his dog for him during the day while he was at work. After they broke up, she continued walking the dog for him, and they occasionally spent time together, watching movies or God knows what else.

Recently, still-single Dustin started growing his beard. Initially, it was short and looked nice on him. But he began growing it into something of Duck Dynasty proportions. His boyish good looks are now partly obscured by hair, and I’ve heard more than one person refer to it as ‘girl repellant.’

He’s still a terribly nice guy and would gladly give any of his friends the shirt off his back. I’d love to see him find a nice, churchgoing girl whom he’d be proud to bring home to Mama and who wouldn’t walk all over him or screw around on him. I know that someday, he’ll make some lucky girl very happy. But first, Dear Dustin, that beard has got to go.