Connecting Online

Although you're far... 

“Meet me tomorrow?”

Leanne had to read this line twice before she comprehended what he had typed. She had been chatting with Mr-I-Won’t-Give-Up for two weeks now, but was surprised that he wanted to meet face to face. She had felt an instant connection with him. Their conversation was crazy, fun and harmless. Just what she needed to get her mind off Felix and the state of their marriage.

“How did it all go so wrong with our marriage? Leanne wondered.

Life had been going well even if they lived in a small apartment in a not-so-great neighbourhood. They both worked hard. Evenings were spent cooking together, catching some television and just talking. They had hoped to build up their savings in a few years to buy a larger apartment to accommodate that big family they had always planned. Somehow, their savings could never keep pace with the rising prices of property. This was the one thing that got them down.

“Are you still there?” Mr-I-Won’t-Give-Up typed.

“Yes.” Leanne typed back hesitantly. “I’m thinking.”

“I’m not pushing you. There’s no hurry. But I would really like to meet you, Ms-Glass-Half-Empty.” he said, adding a smiley at the end of the sentence. “I can never understand your nickname,” he continued. “You seem so positive. Isn’t it funny that my nickname is just the opposite of yours? I will never give up!”

Leanne’s thoughts went back to her marriage. The problems started four months ago, when Felix  started working long hours. Instead of the usual 6 pm, he had started coming home at 11 pm. Even later, some nights. He hardly ever answered his mobile phone after 6 pm. When he did, he was always in a hurry and she could hear a lot of voices in the background. This seemed strange especially since her calls to his office went to the switchboard and all she got was a recorded voice, saying they were closed for the day. When she questioned Felix about the background noise, he told her that he and a few colleagues had gone to catch a bite just when she called. It all started to seem terribly fishy to Leanne.

These days, Felix always came back too tired to talk. After a couple of weeks of waiting up for him, Leanne decided not to bother and now went to bed before he got home. He let himself in and she didn’t bother to keep  track of what time he got home. She had also stopped cooking and started to order in – pizza, Chinese or Indian. Some nights she went to sleep on an empty stomach. These bad eating habits were causing her to put on weight.

Felix got up later and later each morning and was consequently in a rush. No time for breakfast together too. No time to talk. No time for each other.

Resentment started to build up and Leanne felt their marriage steadily going down the tube. To his credit, for the first two months, Felix had tried to make it up to her on the weekends. Then, inexplicably he started to work on the weekends. When she questioned him, he said, “Think about how all these extra hours will convert into savings, sweetheart. We’ll get our house sooner now.” Leanne wasn’t impressed. “Damn the house,” she said angrily. Felix just smiled nonchalantly.

Two months ago, during some downtime at work, Leanne signed on to Friendship.com. This was the site where she had first met Felix. It was not a dating site, but when they connected here, their friendship soon turned to love. Leanne decided to use her old nickname, Ms-Glass-Half-Empty. Strangely, back then, Felix had the nickname Mr-Glass-Half-Full. Their meeting seemed destined to be. Until recently, whenever she grumbled about something he teasingly called her Ms-Glass-Half-Empty. When she signed back on the site, she meant to just browse. However, soon she found herself getting into chats with a couple of women and then she connected with Mr-I-Won’t-Give-Up. He was friendly, funny and married! “But what does that matter,” thought Leanne, “we’re just friends connecting online.”

Now, he wanted to meet and so did she. She was lonely and longed for good company and light-hearted banter. “The kind of stuff Felix and I enjoyed until he spoiled it all.” Leanne thought.

“Okay. Let’s meet” she typed. “But where and when?”
“Tomorrow evening at 6 pm? At that new cafe, Coffee & More?” Mr-I-Won’t-Give-Up responded immediately.
“I’ve never been there,” she said. “I heard that it’s good. It opened about six months ago, didn’t it?” Leanne asked.
“About four months now,’ he responded.
“How will I know you?” she asked.
“I’m the evening manager of the cafe,” he typed. “You can’t miss me! But just in case, I’ll wear a red rose in my buttonhole!”
“See you at 6 tomorrow evening,” she replied.

Leanne thought it kind of strange that he wanted to meet her at his workplace. “That’s his problem,” she thought.”For one thing it will be a safe place to meet!”

The next day, Mr-I-Won’t-Give-Up was not online and Leanne wondered whether to keep her date or not. “It’s not a date,” she told herself. “We’re both married. Just friends….”

Always punctual, Leanne walked into Coffee & More at 6 pm. There he was sitting at a table grinning at her. Suddenly, Leanne felt giddy, as he got up and walked towards her. Gently he led her to the table. “I said I will never give up, didn’t I, Ms-Glass-Half-Empty?” said Felix.

 

I’m blogging through the 31 Days of October.


31days

I’m desperately behind because of a poor internet connection. But I’m not giving up – I’m back dating all the ones I missed out on! 🙂

Pic credit: Aphrodite via Compfight

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Falling To Pieces

Broken 2012

As she wrote her letter, she thought back to the days after she had broken off from him.

One particular day came to mind. Following a night of disturbed sleep interspersed with bouts of tears, she had woken up late. Hurriedly she had got ready and rushed off to work, knowing that she had a busy day before her – three proposals to present. She wondered how she was going to confidently make the presentations to the clients. She had got used to getting a pep talk from him before she made her proposals.  No pep talks today. No talks ever…….

Strangely, all three clients called to re-schedule their appointments. She breathed a sigh of relief and got down to the every day stuff of running her business. But her mind kept wandering and she found herself going back to read old emails she had exchanged with him and chat records. She wondered now how she had missed the signs. All through their relationship, she had been the one trying so hard. On his side, there seemed to be constant disinterest. She was the one who initiated most interactions. All plans to meet had been initiated by her. And when she told her of his plans to expand his business, she was the one who had offered money, despite his protests.

She began to see a pattern in her behaviour and it wasn’t pretty.  To put it plainly, she was a woman in her thirties trying too hard to have a relationship with a man who was so disinterested in her. When did she become so needy? How did she become so desperate to make things work between them?

Later that night and back home, she got into an argument with her mother over something silly. She couldn’t remember now what it was. But she had rushed into her room and slammed the door behind her. Like watching someone in a movie, she saw herself falling to pieces. She paced the room like a mad woman. How had her life come to this? What about her future? Would she never find love? Was she not enough? Falling into the bed, she cried into her pillow to muffle her sobs. It seemed that her crying went on endlessly, until she had no more tears. Just an empty feeling in her heart. How would she go on?

But life had gone on and she had survived. Looking back today, she repeated this to herself:

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. ~ Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

I’m blogging through the 31 Days of October (grab this button from the sidebar if you are too). It seems like my posts are turning into a story. If you missed my post yesterday, you can read it here.
31days

I’m also linking into the Ultimate Blog Challenge and October’s NaBloPoMo

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Falling In Love

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Gently she lifted the old typewriter from the shelf and placed it on the table near the window. The Remington was like an old friend, long forgotten. Was it really a year since she had used it? Yes, it was.

She recalled the very last letter she typed out to him – her goodbye letter, telling him she could no longer bear to be an also-ran in his life. For two years before that, she had typed out a letter to him every day. Now she wondered whether he had really bothered to read those letters. Everyday she had written of her hopes, her love and her dreams for them…..

When he didn’t bother to respond to her goodbye letter, her already broken heart, just gave up. She had no will to write again. The Remington was put away – another reminder of unrequited love.

But today, it was time to start typing letters again. Inserting a rough sheet of paper into the roller, she tentatively typed: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. She repeated this line several times, until she got her typing rhythm back.

She was inspired. She was falling in love again and she just had to express her love. Taking off the rough sheet, she placed a sheet of that lovely thick letter paper she had bought the day before. Smiling to herself, she began typing her love letter: Dear Me.

“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” ― Steve Maraboli

I decided to create something new for the 31 blogging days of October. You can join in if you like. Grab the button here or from the sidebar:

From 7Eight

I’m also linking into the Ultimate Blog Challenge and October’s NaBloPoMo

 

Photo credit: Etsy

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When You Know Better

Fecundity (painting) and Bloom (poem)

 

Last week I wrote a post and promised the next part of it the next day. Good intentions – but no follow-through. So here I am, at the start of another week, keeping my promise, albeit belatedly.

I would like to clarify that the post was not about gadgets or people having a different value system, but rather about my own problem of not knowing it’s time to let a relationship go.  That’s something I’ve struggled with for a while. I over invest in some people who don’t deserve my time or patience and then end up feeling foolish when they discard me.  The time to let go is when they first show me who they are.  If I continue to invest in them, that’s not their problem, is it?

I got a good taste of this recently from someone who turned out to be absolutely nasty. She had showed me her true colors and her ungrateful streak quite a while back. The ingratitude was not directed towards me at the time, but towards a significant person in her life. That was the time to drop her.  I didn’t.

But what I’ve learned from this experience is what counts. I’ve learned that I must first focus on myself and my own needs and passions and not waste time on people who have neither gratitude nor respect. There’s no point beating ourselves up about what happened in the past. And please, never allow that person to play the victim role as people of this kind are prone to do. Cut your losses and move on.  There are plenty of people out there who appreciate you for who you are. Most importantly, we must learn to appreciate ourselves for who we are and not spend time on energy sappers of this kind.

I used a quote from Maya Angelou for my previous post. It seems fitting to use one for this post too:

When you know better, you do better.

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When Someone Shows You Who They Are

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This is what she said: “He claims to have a high paying job, yet he doesn’t even own a tablet.”

I was shocked at her words. Did it follow that everyone who has a job that pays well must have an IPad, an IPhone or own a Mac. Does it mean, that if I choose not to have one, and I have chosen so, that we can’t afford it? More importantly, what was her statement telling me about her values: The measure of a person is known by what they own? If you are wealthy, you must flaunt it? If you don’t have these gadgets you must be a no-good?

The first time I got a hint of such questionable values, is when I should have opted out of this friendship. I remember reading this from Maya Angelou: “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” It struck me then. And I memorized it. But did I learn the lesson? No.

She went on to show me more more ‘interesting’ aspects of her self, until I had no choice but to withdraw.

People show us who  they are in something they say unconsciously or in a pattern of behaviour. For example, if someone is consistently late for their appointments with you, be sure that they don’t value you or your time.

Hopefully, the next time someone shows me who they are, I hope I’ll believe them.

There’s another side to this, that I’ll share tomorrow.

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

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