I got an awesome “out of the blue” phone call from my daughter last night. It wasn’t anything more than a quick “Hi, how are you doing?” type of phone call. The type of phone call that I never would have had just three short years ago…when this post was originally written.
Y’see, my life has obviously changed dramatically over the past three years. Along with the relationship change is the improved relationship I’ve developed with my daughter, which makes me one happy father. In fact, she and I have even discussed her staying with this new blended family the entire summer in 2013! So here is a glimpse of just how incredibly far my relationship with my daughter (and, in turn, Sunshine’s relationship with my daughter) has come.
It’s one more reason why I know I’ve made the right decision to move here with her…
My daughter called me a couple of times yesterday to wish me a happy birthday. The conversations had been jovial and fun-spirited. In fact, her mom called me to say that The Rugrat had just gotten her first zit…on her nose…as a way to kinda embarass Rugrat a bit (in a fun way). So with the pleasantries going on, I thought it would be safe to discuss my relationship with Sunshine.
Y’see, I’ve never introduced anyone other than The Ex to Rugrat…I’ve always told myself that I didn’t want my kids to see adult relationships come and go as they got older. So the girlfriends I had before The Ex were never introduced to Rugrat.
Rugrat is expected to spend Christmas with me, so I thought telling her now would help prepare her for the meeting. I mean, Sunshine is going to be a staple in my life for a very long time so I thought it only made sense that Rugrat found out about her.
In fact, Rugrat’s mom had known about my relationship for months now (we’re casual friends on Facebook), but didn’t want to tell her because it wasn’t her place to do so. I respect that decision and I’m glad that I could be the one to tell her.
Well…I was glad, anyway.
I told Rugrat that I had a new girlfriend. She immediately got quiet. She then began to cry. I didn’t immediately understand why she was so upset.
“What about The Ex?”
“Honey, we’ve been apart for two and a half years.”
“But why? I didn’t know it was two and a half years.”
“Rugrat, we told you when it happened. You’ve flown down to visit me at least four times since and you’ve known all along that The Ex and I weren’t together anymore.”
“Is she still my stepmom?”
“Yes, baby. She’ll always be your stepmom and she’ll always love you. But I can’t be alone forever.”
“I don’t care. I’m only going to like The Ex. I’m not gonna like your new girlfriend.“
“Rugrat…what if The Ex is dating someone, too?”
“Then I won’t like her boyfriend, either.”
“Sweetie…you’re allowed to like everybody. You don’t have to choose. You can like both people.”
“No. I only like The Ex. I never even get to see her anymore. The last time I came to visit I only got to see her once and spent the rest of my time with you.”
“That’s because I’m your father, honey.”
The phone was then passed along to her mom, who inquired as to why Rugrat was so upset. I explained the conversation to her and then realized that maybe I didn’t approach things in the most tactful way.
“No…I don’t think she’s mad at you or the girlfriend. Two of her friends are moving away and she’s all upset and worried about this pimple. That might be what’s really bothering her.”
“I just don’t understand why she’s so upset now about The Ex. It’s not like she calls her or ever asks about her (she doesn’t). And we told her when it happened what was going on.”
“CBG, after you told her on the phone about the separation I ended up talking to her about things with her stepdad. Everything appeared to be fine and she said that she understood. I really think she’s upset about something else. Let me talk to her and I’ll get back to you.”
“Thanks. I really appreciate that.”
And that was last night. I was immediately shaken-up about the whole conversation. I really didn’t expect that reaction. I guess I understand it…she was pretty close to The Ex and does visit with her every time she visits. But I really just thought 2 1/2 years was enough time to pass by before introducing someone new in my life. I really didn’t think she’d be so closed to the thought of either myself or The Ex dating somebody new. It’s just something that never came up in our conversations.
So now I’m in an awkward state. I’m not sure what to say next to her. I’m not sure how to approach things…especially over the phone.
My mom passed away in February 2011. My dad began dating again in June 2011. My immediate reaction was hurt, but I tried to justify it in my head that I couldn’t imagine what it was like to be in his shoes at 65 years old having just lost his soul mate. His need to overcome loneliness was much more important than my need to justify the situation.
She moved into dad’s house in August 2011. My little brother, a volatile 16 year old at the time, was NOT happy about the situation. Much like myself, he was still trying to come to terms with mom’s passing and was barely able to handle dad dating again. His relationship with dad suffered tremendously. I felt sick to my stomach over the entire situation, but continued to support dad in whatever made him happy.
Dad was engaged by October 2011…only four short months after dating this woman. I realize that love is possible in that short of time…I was head-over-heels in love with Sunshine after four months so I can relate a little bit. My issue is that less than ten months after his wife of 40+ years had passed away, dad was all ready to jump back into a permanent relationship and get married to somebody that he didn’t really know THAT well.
I never did see the connection. I mean, she’s a VERY nice woman (I have absolutely nothing negative to say about her) but I never saw the love that you normally see between two people who are newly engaged or living together. And honestly, I’m surprised they stayed together as long as they did.
This lady was such an incredibly blatant rebound after mom’s death that I’m surprised she didn’t even notice it. She moved in and dad still had pictures around the house of mom. He still had (and has) her ashes in an urn in the living room. He told stories and had memories and every other thing he said, whether he realized it or not, was about mom. Dad would tell me that because she was a widow who lost her husband to illness that they could relate on that level and she understood where he was coming from.
The fact of the matter is that she really cared about dad, but she moved quickly on the hope that dad would change a bit. I laugh at this notion because dad will NEVER change…EVER. He is now 66 and is unwilling to change anything about himself. In fact, he won’t even DISCUSS change because that means he may have to discuss his feelings, which is something else he will not do.
So after a few months of not getting along that great (and a couple of incidents that really turned dad “off” to the whole relationship), dad broke up with her under the thought that it just wasn’t going to work out. He helped her move into a new apartment and get set up with some new furniture (as she had sold a lot of things after moving into the house) and says that they are still “best friends”, but it’s time to move on.
THANK GOD THEY DIDN’T GET MARRIED!!
I was more upset that dad didn’t initially tell me about them breaking up (for almost two weeks!) than I was at them breaking up. What it tells me is that my relationship with dad has suffered a bit since they moved in. I need to change that because, being a guy who will never change, he won’t go out of his way to call me just to say “hi” when he believes I should be calling him (y’know…since I moved away then I should be the one to reach out).
Anyway…dad seems to be okay with the whole situation. Hell, he seems like he’s already prepared to jump back into the dating pool (yikes). I think he might finally be able to be okay with being alone. Maybe he has come to terms with mom’s death and won’t think about her every waking second of the day when he’s not at work. So maybe he won’t jump back into a relationship in a subconscious effort to replace her.
One of the problems that I have always gone through over the years has been trust. This has especially been an issue when it came to relationships, as well.
I’ve always felt the need to be guarded for a couple of reasons. For one, any time I let my guard down meant I then opened myself up to opportunities at being hurt by the person I was with. The other reason was that I honestly did not feel as though anybody could truly love me for who I really was…so I hid a lot about me and pretended to be somebody I wasn’t in order to “find happiness”.
It’s taken me a long time to come out of my shell enough to truly be myself. Hell…my ex-wife didn’t really know everything about me. I’ve actually told Sunshine things about my past that I never told my ex-wife. Sunshine is truly the person that I have ever felt the most comfortable with, and with those feelings comes 100% trust in her and in us.
Which is why this past weekend we went to a local bank and opened up a joint bank account together.
Now some of you may think that this isn’t really that big of a deal. Heck, even Sunshine didn’t really think it was that big of a deal. But other than my dad when he co-signed a mortgage with me, I’ve never had a joint bank account with anybody before…even my ex-wife.
So for me, this was a big deal.
We’re not going to start pooling all of our money in the account, but it’s a “vacation fund” account where we will throw in whatever we can in order to save up for a trip somewhere…whether it’s another cruise through the Caribbean or a drive down to Maine.
The point is that this is our first major move as a team…as partners…and the beginning of a lot of great things to come for the both of us down the road.
As the anniversary for Sunshine & I has come and gone, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection. I’ve been looking back on this incredible journey that we have shared for over three years now and have thought about just how we have gotten to this point.
We’re absolutely head-over-heels in love…we’re soul mates…there’s no denying that. But it’s been such an incredible few years in terms of personal and emotional growth that it’s hard to believe three years have gone by.
So while I should have probably re-posted this back on the actual date of our anniversary, I thought today would be as good a day as any to re-post the details of our first date…especially as it followed another amazing weekend together with Sunshine. I wrote this on a different blog back in 2008 (before “CBG” was created and when I was calling Sunshine by the name “K”) and it, for better or for worse (and including vlogs by yours truly), is pretty much an EXTREMELY DETAILED rundown of our first-ever date.
It was a day that I’ll never forget and I still think about it often. So here it is, The First Date…..
DECEMBER 6th, 2008
We had decided that to make things as “normal” as possible and not overly awkward, I would just drive up for the day and leave after dinner in the evening. We had been talking for a couple of weeks online and were really nervous about whether or not our online chemistry would carry-over into “real life”. There had definitely been a connection online and I really was digging her, but she had some reservations. The “Saturday Day Date” was supposed to be the big test.
I didn’t hit the road as early as I would have liked, but still not too shabby…
I would be "A". She would be "B".
I was just pulling up to the half-way point of my journey…a toll booth on the Cobequid Pass when my cellphone rang. This first thing out of her mouth?
“You know you really shouldn’t be answering the phone while you’re driving.”
I asked her to hold just a second as I paid my toll and pulled into a parking lot. A few minutes later, I was back off and running with a huge silly grin on my face…really anticipating the meeting that was less than two hours away.
I then decided to make another video after one more “pit stop” on the way there…
As I pulled into Dartmouth, I felt the need to make a quick pit stop before going across the MacDonald Bridge into downtown Halifax. So I pulled into the Ultramar on the corner of Victoria and Woodland Avenue. I came out, pulled back onto Woodland, and turned left on Victoria when the lights turned green.
My heart sunk. My stomach flipped. I immediately panicked.
My right front was pulling to the right and I couldn’t steer. OMG!!! I immediately pulled over, threw the 4-way hazard lights on, and got out to see the damage.
FLAT AS A PANCAKE.
Are you kidding me??? Did I not have this exact same thing happen to me just a few short months ago?? I popped the trunk and began getting the spare prepared. A lady in the house I was parked in front of yelled at me to move because she was about to leave. Ugh. So I pulled across the street into a parking lot and surveyed the damage. It was a nail. A long nail.
Oh dear lord…not today. Not today of all days.
So I raised the car and started working over the lugnuts. I couldn’t get them off. In fact, I was straining so much the car came off the jack (don’t know my own strength, I suppose…lol). I was getting frustrated because at this time it was already 9:15am and I was supposed to be meeting Sunshine.
Luckily, a pleasant passer-by named Tony and his dog Roy stopped by and offered assistance. He asked if I had stood on the bar in an attempt to move the lugnuts.
“Why no…I hadn’t thought of that.”
Needless to say, he helped me get the lugnuts off and jack up the car. Once I made the switch and thanked him for being a good person, I stood back to survey the damage.
At this point it was after 9:30am, and with Sunshine not having a cell phone and us not having made any plans in case something had happened…I was starting to panic.
So I threw everything into the trunk and rushed off to the Halifax Farmer’s Market. Once I parked and made my way to the building, I was nervous and anxious and going crazy because it was now almost 10am and she was going to be waiting outside for me at 9:00am.
After running around for 10 minutes and immediately sensing how huge this building was, I stopped and thought for a minute. She said that she sometimes liked to eat Chinese food for breakfast at the market (which is something I’ll make a regular occurence, too, when I go back with her), so I found the Chinese food kiosk next to one of the entrances and stood there; hoping that she’d pop up.
At 10 o’clock, my cell phone rang. I answered with, “I’M HERE!!” Once she found me I gave her a HUGE hug and immediately showed her my grease-covered hands. I tried explaining the story and then she laughed…
She thought it was amusing. I mean seriously…out of all the days to have this happen, TODAY was the day. Heh.
The market was awesome. The tour of the market was awesome. The smells and the sights and the sounds of the market were awesome. The crowd? Not so awesome. Long story VERY short, the market was awesome and I’m definitely looking forward to going back with her.
At around 12pm, we decided to stop by her house really quick so she could drop off her purchases (veggies…meat…) and we could be off again. When she went inside…
And yes…I ended the video with, “Cool beans”. I NEVER say that phrase. Ugh.
Anyway, so we drove to Canadian Tire and picked up some tire plug stuff. LOTS of stuff I could go into at this point, but I’m trying to condense as much as possible. Let’s just say that in spite of the situation, we were absolutely making the most of our time together…laughing, talking, and just enjoying each other’s company.
There’s something to be said about making out in a store parking lot. Just sayin’.
Anyway…we pulled into a gas station and when trying to fix the hole with the plug, realized that the hole was on the SIDE of the tire, not the bottom.
OMG…that can’t be fixed.
OMG…I can’t drive all the way back to Moncton on a donut for three hours on the highway.
OMG…do I have any money in the bank for a tire?
OMG…where in the blue hell am I going to find a tire place in Halifax?
I went inside the gas station we were parked at, wrote down a bunch of places out of the Yellow Pages, and immediately thought that the Tire Shack would be the best choice for a cheap, used tire (hey…it’s a shack that houses tires…how much simpler can it get??). It was on Prospect Road.
“Hmmm…uhhh, Sunshine? Do you know where that is?”
“I think so, yeah.”
And off we went.
She was 100% correct about the direction. We both just didn’t realize that we’d have to drive half-way to Peggy’s Cove in order to actually find the Tire Shack location. And no…I’m not kidding. Point “A” is where we started at the Canadian Tire…Point “B” is where the Tire Shack was.
It took us (seemingly) forever to find this place. We pulled in and I walk into the office. I explained my situation to the lady and that I was just looking for ANYTHING to put on my car for the trip back to Moncton.
“Well, we closed last February but ask the owner and see what he can do for you.”
Yeah…they were actually closed. Had been since February. OMFG.
I nervously smiled at Sunshine sitting in the car as I went from the office to the garage area, where the owner appeared to be helping out a friend’s vehicle or something. I explained things and he felt sorry for me (at least I think he did). He said that he didn’t know for sure, but would go out back and check.
He came back with a brand-new all-season tire. Uh-oh…NOT what I had in mind. He said that it retailed for $99 but considering the situation and that he wasn’t actually open or even IN BUSINESS, he’d give me a deal. So he said $88 for the tire, installation, and balancing. Not a bad deal, right?
Oh…did I forget to mention that he was closed? Because if I had mentioned that, it would have become apparent that he had no debit machine and could only take cash.
I had $50 in my pocket. $56.45, to be exact. I sheepishly went to the car and explained the situation to Sunshine. She was doing her best to contain her laughter at the whole story. Then I asked her how much cash she had on her.
Yes…on a first date I was bumming money from my date. “Cads-R-Us” alert!!
Pooled together, we had $84 in cash. BAH! So we were told that there was a bank machine back a little bit at the Irving we passed on the way there. We’ll be right back.
The f*cking gas station felt like it was an hour away. So I go in and grab $100 out of the machine…still chuckling at the fact I actually ASKED SUNSHINE FOR CASH. Wow.
We got back to the closed Tire Shack at 1:30pm. Upon further inspection, the “tire guy” realized that I had studded winter tires and would have to rotate the back one with the new front one to make sure I wasn’t all messed up. Because he didn’t notice it before, he wouldn’t charge me any extra.
We finally got finished at 2pm…just as we had hoped. I wish I could really explain how amazing Sunshine was during this entire time…but I can’t. Let’s just say that this particular part of the day was one that we both will remember forever and smile (it included cheesy 80s music, a dancing lady, pretending to be married, and LOTS of stolen kisses).
Sunshine had passes to the museum so it was the least expensive part of our entire day. I shouldn’t really laugh at that part, but looking back it’s pretty funny.
So after the museum, I forced her to pick a restaurant for us (and I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, which sucks because it was amazing). We got there at 3:30pm and the front door was locked.
WTF is it now?!?!?!?
It opened at 4pm. We looked at our watches…3:30pm. Dang it. Let’s walk around for a bit. So we went into Sweet Janes on Doyle Street. Wow. It was part candy store, part San Fransisco Gifts store, part sex shop (lol). Half awesome, half creepy.
There were toys for tots (kazoos!), toys for adults (candy-thongs!!), and toys for the odd (a Jesus action figure and bobble-head doll….seriously). Oh…and there was a TON of candy, too. Honestly…this was almost as much fun as anything else we did that day.
So after learning of her sock-fetish (which will come in handy to know come Christmastime), we made our way back to the restaurant for supper. Two hours later, we realized that the date had to come to an end (and no, Sunshine…I didn’t RUSH you through your coffee…lol).
After saying our goodbyes, I drove through until Stewiake (that “elephant” I mention is actually Mastadon Ridge) and making a pit stop…
So to summarize? I wish I could. In spite of EVERYTHING that could have possibly gone wrong, I had one of the best days I’ve ever had.
Honestly…this totally ended up being the greatest first date I could have ever asked for. Sunshine is an absolutely amazing woman and I can’t tell you the relief I feel knowing the connection we have isn’t limited to “online only”. Regardless of where this ends up, it’s gonna be a fun ride.
One of the things I love the most about the change of seasons from summer into fall is the feeling of those awesomely cool sheets on the bed…not quite cold, yet cool enough to make sliding into them feel like a welcome hug.
But alas…that’s what’s missing right now: that hug.
One of the biggest struggles to face in a long-distance relationship is the empty bed you sleep in every night. I’m usually okay after a few days apart; being able to sleep through the night without waking up multiple times. The real problem comes from those first few nights alone.
It’s not even one specific thing, either. I can’t pinpoint the feeling of not having Sunshine next to me…it’s just that overall general emptiness that I feel.
Waking up at 2am…waking up at 4am…my body tells me that there’s something not quite right. It’s not a terrible feeling, it’s just a lonely feeling; an uncomfortable feeling.
Fortunately, Sunshine and I are heading into Weekend #2 of three weekends together…so it’s not like I can really complain. By the time my body gets used to being alone for a night, I’ll be back in her arms again.
But as much as I love those cool nights under the covers, it’s not nearly as comfortable as those cool nights under the covers with the one you love.