Updated: Dec 20, 2022
Yes, I can hear you, pipe down and hear me out.
Hey, so as ever I have had a break from writing, and then get a compulsion to let the words flow. I guess I am not festooned with ideas on a daily basis and need something interesting to happen in my life to write about.
Wait. My last post was nearly two months ago... 'side eye emoji'
Anyway, how are you all? Good? Survive that little cold snap that embraced the UK recently? Shocking wasn't it? Who ever thought we would have sub-zero temperatures, frost and snow in the middle of a UK winter... 'another side eye emoji' followed by a 'shrugged shoulders emoji'. Lets start this with some good news, in 4 days I get on a plane and head to the US to spend Christmas and New Year with Sam, I cannot wait, I am far from ready, buy meh, I am an ESTP, https://www.16personalities.com/estp-personality
bring on the last minute pressure. On the flipside of that, the not so good news is that my dear elderly aunt, the one I speak to every Saturday, without fail, the fiercely independent one, I know I have mentioned her before, certainly here; www.my11yearplan.com/post/_1986
had a fall and was taken into hospital, she is fine, she is getting the care she needs and has us, her family, around her. If you are keeping up, you will know that I grew up in Hampshire, but now live in Shropshire, this is now my home and I will only leave if and when I move abroad, which is the reason for this whole blog in a way. My aunt is still in Hampshire and as a result I headed down to see her, check over her house and maybe catch up with some friends at the same time. If you are one of my constants (I am giving up calling you 'faithful's' or 'dear readers' too many take the piss out of me for it, bastards, ha ha) then you will remember his post;
and I still stand by the thoughts in that post, but I was back on them.
I know, I know, I don't need you to bollock me, I can do that myself, thank you very much. And lets be honest, if I ever learned from my own posts, this blog would die a premature, but dignified, death. Ha ha, that isn't going to happen so lets keep the craziness going.
Whilst in a bar with one of my dearest friends, we thought it would be a good idea to open one of the said dating apps and see who was on there...
Bollocking number two due?
Why on earth would I do that when the best part of 200 miles away from where I live?
Yep, you guessed it, it is the morbid curiosity that dating apps and social media has driven into our daily lives... There we were, swiping away and boom!
There she is.
The one that has been a reverberating constant in my life for 35 years. The one I left my marriage for. The one that I always thought I would end my days with. The one who ripped my heart out in 1995. The one I left in 2015 and hurt as a result. The one I thought I could forget and move on from.
I show my friend, have a laugh, decide not to swipe (but instead close the app so as not to completely remove her) and actually think that I am pleased she is out there and trying to date. I am pleased for her... ish.
I bumped into many friends, drank too much and had a superb evening and thought no more of it. Next morning, a Sunday, I am back at my aunts house, checking things, unblocking sinks, talking to neighbours etc. when 'ping ping' I get a text. Now, maybe you are like me, you have set ringtones for different groups/friends, to help you decide whether to look straight away or leave it, I know I do, although lets be honest we all look immediately, regardless of the ring tone. We are compelled and ruled by the pings. There it was. Her name and a simple message. "Hi x Are you in 'insert name of the village we grew up in'?"
A wry smile crosses my lips, there is only one reason why she would ask this and that is because I popped up on her 'generic dating app' as they show a persons proximity. I play it cool and leave the message for a few minutes, let me explain why. Do you remember that infamous scene in A Few Good Men where Lt' Dan Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is building up to throw that infamous line to Col. Nathan Jessop (Jack Nicholson) whilst Kevin Bacon plays the least convincing US Marine ever as Capt. Jack Ross, I love Kevin, just not in this role.
Skip to 02.35 and that is the bit I am going to ramble on about. Or watch the whole scene before hand, I am not your boss. Lt. Kaffee asks Col. Jessop about his plans for the trip to come to court, what he packed, whom he called etc. Stay with me, this has a point, even if it only means something in my own random brain.
Col. Jessop knew he was making a slightly unexpected trip and made calls to friends/family saying he was in town, short notice but would you like to meet up. I did the same. She was not one of those I contacted. Why? Well, we last split at the end of 2015 and my life took me away from the area and despite the odd message, we lost touch. I did the whole #vanlife thing and after my stint in Kent settled in Shrewsbury. At the start of 2021, we got back in touch and decided that maybe a weekend together may not be a bad idea.
Due to certain events, it turned out to be a terrible idea, horrific, the worst we have ever been and trust me constants (I don't like that and I don't like bowing to peer pressure) we have had our moments. She went home and I seriously thought that I had drawn a line under us, finally, we had broken the seemingly never ending spiral of together/apart/together/apart. Then, I got that text... uh oh, be careful, walk away, don't do this. Screech of brakes, back up, back up, rewind the film.
Are you ahead of me?
Are you sat there and thinking, hang on a bleeding moment, wasn't he just 'head over heels' across the pond?
Shall I interject and explain this..? www.my11yearplan.com/post/golly-thunderbolt-city
Ok That post is still true and relevant and I have not given up on it, but, I have messaged that lovely lady to say that I am over during the festive period, saying I promised her a dinner date, that I would love that to happen etc. and it has been met with radio silence.
It is a long way and it is life changing and it was fleeting, but I still believe it to be true, yet I cannot force something from my side only and I never would.
Yes, I am not being true to myself and yes, I am potentially playing with peoples feelings, but it will become clear'ish, maybe. Here we are, we are at 'the whole point of this post'. Back to it, following the' Are you in XX' text, we swapped a few more, me explaining why I was in town, her saying how she came across my profile, she was out the night before, her friend was swiping and saw me and asked her 'what about him'? which was met with some laughs as you can imagine.
Then the text came from her saying, well next time you are in town, let me know and we can have a coffee and a catch up. I stared at that message for what felt like an age, but was likely only moments, all of me was screaming to reply saying 'sure, that would be nice, I'll let you know'. What did I respond with? 'I am free now for an hour or so if you are'
Yes, I can see you! Stop rolling your eyes, stop falsely slapping your forehead like some caricature of a sit com character from the 1970's, stop shouting 'no! no! no!' at me. It was just going to be coffee, with someone that I had such a history with, no harm in it, makes sense being in the area etc.
End of post, there you go, that's what we did, it was nice to catch up over a coffee and then I went home.
Have you realised? No ellipsis ending, I always end on an ellipsis.
Before I go on, there are a fair amount of you who know me, as a person and from that time of my life and therefore know who I am talking about. I always keep names out of this, except Sam's and for good reason, this blog is more for me than it is anything else, it is me getting these thoughts out of my head, it is cathartic. I don't care if it gets read or not. So for that reason, if you know me and her, please be discreet and yes I can hear you saying, 'well if you want to be discreet, don't bloody post this' Ok, good point. But this needs to be written down.
I went round, she opened the door and wow, she looked amazing, I mean she always has, but for some reason this time, more so. I walked in, made a fuss of the dog and accepted the offer of coffee, we went and sat down and then the most surreal thing happened. We got on, we actually got on! It was natural, it was lovely, we spoke about our past and laughed at some of the most stupid elements of our four or five failed attempts at a relationship, the fights, the way we were back then and the reasons for the same, it was lovely, it was totally unforced and enjoyable.
We really laughed at the 2021 weekend and both admitted that we could not wait for it to be over. The time flew, it is winter so it started to get dark outside quickly and I still needed to go and see my aunt and then take the three hour plus journey home, so I started to explain that and then said, 'can I come back'? The response, 'Yes, of course you can'. So I did, I went and saw my aunt and then leaving the hospital turned away from the direction of home and went back, agreeing to pick up a takeaway on my way back for us. This is where it gets really weird. I walk into the takeaway and there is a wallet open on the bar, I had seen its owner walking out of the door and going to a car, maybe they had forgotten something, I gave it little thought, I stated why I was there and waited. Said wallet owner walks back in and... it is her dad, serious, a man whom I have huge respect for, but have not seen for over seven years. I am back in 'the village' at short notice, I decide to meet the 'ex' and then I bump into her dad in the takeaway, a mere two hours after we agreed that we were going to have that particular cuisine, come on, there are forces out of my control at work here.
I say hello to him, he asks how I am etc. and then my order comes out, in her surname (she has retained her married name despite being divorced).
Not mine (which is quite distinctive), not his... I clumsily say, 'this is mine' and he says, 'yes of course' I wait for a heartbeat or two to see if there is any realisation, there isn't.. I shake his hand, say how good it is to see him again and head off... my heart is in my mouth. I tell her and we both say, that is surreal. He was around hers a few nights later and we are texting each other waiting for the 'you'll never guess who I bumped into' chat from him, but it didn't happen. I didn't go home the night of the takeaway and that is all the detail you need and will get. We agreed that it may be nice to see each other again, one weekend, totally non-committal and with the agreement that if, that one previous night was just a lovely way to say hello again between two people, who know each other so very well, and one or the other decides it should go no further, then no regrets, but we will always stay in touch. Well, life is busy, I have a trip to take, she has family coming home for the season and we were looking at least five to six weeks before it could happen.
Then, due to circumstances, I need to see my aunt again, things had developed, in a good way, but also decisions were needed, so I went back this last weekend to Hampshire. I saw my aunt and she is doing ok, we will get her there. I stayed at hers (I hate that I have to write 'hers' but I cannot use names and the 'ex' seems so impersonal) and it was lovely, we carried on from where we left off the previous Sunday, we talked about our past, we ate, watched films and it was really nice. Her son was due home that evening and she asked if it was OK if we popped to Sainsburys so she could get some bits and us some lunch, which, of course it was. This particular Sainsburys is located in the village my ex wife and I lived in, where my ex wife and her new husband still live, it is on the edge of a large town and serves the whole of the same. The ex wife I left for 'her'. We joked on the journey how weird it would be if we were to see my ex wife in the shop, of course thinking that the chances are infinitesimal. We saw my ex wife.
In the space of eight days I had gone from having zero plans about going back 'home' to unexpectedly being there, spending some lovely time with an ex, that will always be a constant, randomly bumping into her dad and seeing the lady I left for 'her'. I am going to do the lottery!;
https://www.my11yearplan.com/post/the-big-lottery-win We are not committing to anything other than one meet at a time, no promises, no expectations and, this time around with the total honesty that, if for either of us it is not right, we walk away, but remain friends, at a distance. And we know we are kidding ourselves. ILYLTSAILYTID...