About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Screw the rules


Let me start out by saying that I’m an over 40 year-old woman--widow--who’s new to the dating scene.  My husband passed away over 6 years ago and I’ve only ventured back into the dating world this past year.  The last guy I dated--an over-50 year old man, never married--told me that I “don’t know the dating rules.” 

Um...what?  Rules?!  Gimme a break.  

Dating isn’t exactly my expertise, but I'm not some recluse who's been living in a cave my entire life.  I know how to interact with people and have learned the hard way about who to let close and who to keep at a distance.  And, let's not discount the fact that I was married for a decade so have an idea of how relationships work. This brings me to what he said about me "breaking the rules" as far as dating goes and how he was "cutting me some slack" because “I haven't been dating for about 20 years."

Well, it's only been 17 years, thank you very much, but like I said, there was an 11 year relationship in there, buddy.

I've never been fond of rules.  In fact, if you tell me what the rule is, I will most likely go out of my way to break it just to see what happens.  Will the world end?  No.  Will I die? Well...okay, if it's a rule about not skiing in an avalanche danger zone, I may respect that one.  I'm rebellious not crazy.

I am how I am.  I don't play games.  I come with a past I am NOT ashamed of.  I will talk about anything at any given time.  I have few inhibitions.  I am passionate.  I love life.  People know where they stand with me, whether they like that or not.  If I'm happy, you'll know it.  You'll also be very aware of when I'm not.  What you see is what you get with me at all times.

Dating rules?  Like what?  It's funny how people (men) say they want someone authentic...until that's what they get.  Then it's like "whoa, that's a lot to handle" or "ooo...getting too close".  Screw that.

Life is short. I know that first hand. I don't like wasting time or playing evasive games.  With me, the rules don't apply.  To me, rules are meant to keep people out.  What's the point of dating if you don't want to let someone in?

Rules?  Really?  Why?  Just go with it. At the end of the day, who cares about rules if you're happy?  Life is too short.  There may not be a second chance for a happy ending so don’t mess it up with rules, lists or whatever obstacle you create to protect yourself.  Now is all we have.  

If I’m breaking “rules”, then good for me.  I may not know a lot about dating...but I know a helluva lot about love.  I’m not going to waste one minute of my life worrying about “dating rules”.  I may be outrageous, passionate and hard to handle, but the future man in my life will love that about me. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Born again virgin

Here's the thing:  I suck at dating.  It's a new world for me.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  In most areas of my life, I'm very confident.  Give me a novel to write or promote, I won't blink an eye.  Give me a man who's interested, I turn into a complete idiot.

I met a guy recently who's compelling in every way.  He's not my "usual" type--in other words, he's not a player, liar or selfish asshole.  I'm not used to this; therefore, I'm acting like a selfish bitch to counteract his absolute niceness.

What the hell is wrong with me?! 

I don't know if it's because I'm afraid of getting close to someone--although that's a real possibility.  We're just dating--it's fun, he's fun, we're as "new" as can be, zero expectations, no strings, no complications.  Just. Dating.  Being with him is easy. I feel comfortable around him but...I push him away.  He kissed me the other night...I cried...because I liked it.  I liked it a lot.

What the hell is wrong with me?!

I'll say it again...I suck at dating.  I challenge him.  I put up my shield.  I poke.  I get defensive.  It's not cool at all.  I'm really bad at this.  I say things I shouldn't.  Boundaries?  What are those?

But here's the thing:  I really am afraid.  That's at the root of it all.  Afraid of being vulnerable, of letting my guard down, of being happy, of not being "mom" 24/7, of having fun, of "getting a life of my own", of allowing someone to see my darkness beneath the light...

Even before Sean died, I had to be tough and independent.  He was a mess that year before he died, whether I like remembering that part or not.  I shielded myself even then.  After he died, I had to defend my choices, listen to endless criticism and judgments, experience more losses and protect myself from allowing negativity to destroy me.  I hardened.

My professional confidence grew while my personal confidence cracked.  Now that my novel is doing well and my writing career is on an upward trajectory, I do want a personal life that's fun and intimate.  What kind of romance writer would I be if I denied myself romance?

In many ways, I feel like a teenager entering the dating scene for the first time only with more challenges.  I'm not a size 2 like I was at 16.  I'm a widow, which makes me "scary" to some people. I have kids, a mortgage, emotional baggage (despite how well-adjusted I claim to be), home repairs, bills, stretch marks, cellulite, wrinkles and a serious nature courtesy of LIFE.  (Sexy package, huh?)  Where once I used to strut my stuff, I now hide it behind baggy shirts, an aloof edge and excuses.  See?  Even admitting all of that is uncool.

I am definitely no longer cool.

What I am is a woman with a massive crush on a man.  Now if only I could shut up long enough to not get in my own way.  Hmm...maybe there needs to be more kissing and less talking...what a concept.  Perhaps I'll forward him this post...accidentally, of course.