Life sucks, then you die.


11/30/07

Well, that just sucks. Karen didn’t e-mail me about lunch today, and I thought it might be because she didn’t want to have lunch with me anymore. I did write to her that I could meet her to share a Bento some evening or weekend afternoon; that way it wouldn’t be so much like a date. I confessed that I was always thinking about some way to spend time with someone I like so much. I was afraid that might have annoyed her. I think it did. I went to the cafeteria at the regular time, and she was just getting there. She didn’t say anything. I said hello, and that was that. I asked if she had been busy today, and she sighed “Yes,” she had. She got her food and sat down while I was still waiting on a  grilled cheese with green chile.  I was afraid she might leave – she had a huge book with her, and that usually means she would prefer to be reading. However, I took my plate and asked her if I could join her, and she said, “Yes,” after a short pause, so I sat down. I don’t eat the pickle that comes with sandwiches, and usually give it to Karen, but I didn’t offer it to her this time.

She cut her hair really short. It looks nice. She said it helped elongate her round face. I said she looked great, but that it didn’t really matter when someone is so beautiful anyway. That pissed her off. She said she really didn’t like it when I said stuff like that, that it overstepped the boundaries, or something to that effect. The look on her face and the tone of her voice made me feel like I’d been slapped! slap.jpg How do women do that? I said I didn’t understand, that I thought that had just been when I had been married. She wouldn’t say anymore. It made me angry briefly. It shouldn’t have. I know that I’m not that attractive to her, by either looks or age. Still, I would think it would be OK to compliment her?

I can see now, after reflecting on it awhile, and considering how defensive she became when I said it, that she’s talking about sexual harassment. Now I understand better. It was never about having been married, and not directly about my age either. She’s just not attracted to me, and probably wouldn’t be even if we were the same age or closer in age, where I didn’t look so fucking old. It must just be my overinflated male ego that dared to presume such a pretty young woman could ever be attracted to me. loveshattered.jpg

Who knows? Maybe she was at one time, but not any more. It’s not her fault that I assumed a woman that made special trips from home in to where I worked just to have lunch with me had more than a passing interest in me as just a work buddy. We used to take a bus to the other side of campus together to eat at an off-campus restaurant, but then we started walking together. (Got a thing between us)

It was so nice. I enjoyed those walks sooo much. Talking with her, or just enjoying the company. Sometimes we got sandwiches and walked to the big pond on main campus. So beautiful there with the pond, fountain, waterfalls, and grass, in the middle of a desert on a large campus in a big city. We had to stop doing all that when she started working full time. I miss those times, and while I appreciate the joy those times gave me, I see it will never happen again.

So now, anything I say or do is potentially bad. I was going to write ‘love’ in my Xmas card sad-man.jpg to her this year, but I can see now that would be a baaaaad idea. I gave her some $ for her birthday last month, to help with her savings towards a new tattoo and for getting her own apartment. (Odd that a 27-year-old woman would still be living with her parents, but she had been trying for a long time to get through college until it just became too expensive, even living at home.) She told me that she told her family not to give her any things anymore; that what she really needed was money. She looked shocked at my gift, and I thought she might refuse it, but she just looked at it, said, “It’s a lot,” and put it away. It’s not a lot really; it’s about what dinner out costs these days. I had previously offered to take her to lunch on her birthday, but she said she was already leaving early to meet her parents for that very reason, and wouldn’t be eating lunch that day at all. She did, however, thank me for offering.

>>> 11/6/2007 7:14 AM >>>
Good morning Karen!and a very Happy Birthday to you! May I treat you to lunch? Cafeteria? or I could run over to Frontier? or if you can take a longer lunch we could go somewhere? Up to you – it’s your day! If not, I hope someone has plans to treat you special today.  – T.<<<

Hi Terry,
I am leaving early today to go to a late lunch/early dinner with my parents. So I probably won’t be eating lunch today. Thanks though.
Karen.

She looks damn good to me, and I’m still in love with her. Well, I’ve had plenty of time to anticipate this. I’ve even said it before, but it is an absolute certainty now. I must kill this fantasy. I’m driving myself crazy thinking about her. I will eventually say the wrong thing again, or touch her hair or hand. I was almost going to openly confess my love for her. Ha, ha! I can see the restraining order now! She wouldn’t even need that though. The University is a state institution, and both the state and the University have a zero tolerance for harassment, which includes the idea of making anyone uncomfortable in the workplace. I could not only make Karen mad at me, but lose my job, and damage the union’s reputation. I don’t really care about the job, and I could quit the union before any great damage to its reputation, but being treated like that by Karen would really, really, suck. sad_snowman.jpg

I’ve decided. Next week, and from now on, I am not going to the cafeteria at that time. If Karen doesn’t send me any more e-mails about lunch, she won’t ever see me again, except in passing. Since she never says much when I run into her, or stops to chat, it won’t be all that different. She can be so eloquent and happy talking about things at lunch, but if I run into her and say hi, she might say, “Oh. Hello,” without even pausing her stride. It sounds like she’s saying “Hi” to an old acquaintance that she’s a little surprised to see, but not interested in talking to. I thought it might come to that, to us not having lunch anymore, and then she’ll be like that anyway. Man! the graphic I used before that shows a female carny backing away from a guy, saying “No, get away!” boy_loves_girl.jpg was actually a very accurate depiction of the actual dynamic between us. Fuck it all. fukitol.jpg

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6 Responses to “Life sucks, then you die.”

  1. somebodyyoudon'tknow Says:

    I think you are very wise to think that sexual harassment charges could be a possibility. DO NOT QUIT the union!!!They are there for your protection. If she files charges against you it is imperative that you get yourself into therapy–you’re going to have to plead “insanity”. Fortunately, you’re still newly divorced and there is a label for every kind of behavior out there. Look, I don’t think you’re a bad person. I think there’s a lot of empathy out there for what you’re going through. Your website has gotten thousands of hits. You’re a thoughtful and intelligent man, and the world doesn’t revolve around some immature-still-living-with-parents-reads-anime girl. If you could only take off the rose-colored glasses and see this girl-woman for what she is, I think you’d probably be able to get over the whole thing. Certainly there must be tons of women at the University who would be worth getting to know. Why aren’t you attracted to women closer to your own age? For that matter why can’t most middle-aged men appreciate women of a certain age? I’m in my mid-thirties and it really gets on my nerves when I’ve been hit on by men in their 70’s. After this happened a few times I began to wonder if I looked old or something. It’s not flattering to be hit on by someone old enough to be your father, trust me. It makes you wonder what is wrong with the guy and whether he has some issues about control and/or power. I’m not saying that this is the case with Karen. But it’s no fun being a woman and getting unwanted male attention. Karen will probably never be in a serious relationship. I doubt she’s capable of it since she’s pretty damned old herself to be still tied to her mommy’s apron strings. Ok, I guess I feel pretty sensitive about the whole age thing. I’m trying to be helpful. This thing will run its course, you know that. You need to start looking out for number one. And hey, why not try to meet some women your own age?

  2. Hen Says:

    I don’t know who you are, or how i stumbled across this. I was looking up something to do with art, and ‘Love’. I am in a similar situation myself, with a man i love who doesn’t love me back, and is taken. I don’t know how old you are, but by the sound’s of it, Karen is a little wary of you and perhaps not in a good sense.
    Good luck, and try to move on, i know it’s hard, I’m trying myself!

  3. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    I quite agree: time to move on. When I said I made a decision not to go near her unless I hear from her, that’s what I mean. I’m not sending her any more emails, nor will I go near the cafeteria on Fridays. If I do get an email from her asking if I want to meet her for lunch, I probably will. I am already making the adjustment in my head, and was prepared for this eventuality. The lunches are innocent, as long as I keep my head out of fantasy. It already seems we have less to talk about with lots of dead silence and some uncomfortableness. I would be very surprised if Karen contacted me again, but even so, I think we’re at that point where she no longer needs me in her life at all, and I can live with that.

  4. Elle Says:

    It sounds like you are slowly coming out of the fog of intense infatuation, but I want to say anyway: I am sorry you are suffering. But you are locked into a seriously unhealthy infatuation with this woman. Move on. If it was meant to be, it wouldn’t be this difficult. As it is, you’re just too obsessed.

    Obsession over the loved one isn’t always bad — it’s a deliriously wonderful thing, when it’s reciprocal. This is not, and it’s just going to fester in your brain and heart.

    You will love — truly love — again. And someone will love you. But this woman will not. There’s nothing wrong with her, she doesn’t have to work out any issues, she is just not interested. She may have enjoyed a friendship, but she is backing off because she doesn’t like you. Period. She doesn’t invite you in, she doesn’t answer emails, she doesn’t initiate encounters, she doesn’t want you. She doesn’t want you to tell her she’s pretty, she doesn’t want anything in the way of romantic attentions from you. Sorry to be brutal, but it will not change.

    You shouldn’t be angry with her for that. Keep in mind that you don’t really know her, not truly. And you have many deep and potent images and desires for a certain kind of love — you are projecting that onto her. You can move on safely knowing that you are not losing HER, you are simply carrying away intact your dreams for what a love can be. It won’t be with her, and that is okay.

    By the way, you have mentioned that she couldn’t ever be attracted to you because of your looks and age. For what it’s worth, from what I have seen (just the Halloween photos) you *are* very handsome, and I am in my thirties but I wouldn’t think twice about dating a man your age. Don’t feel crappy about your attractiveness — aren’t there objectively gorgeous women out there that just don’t do it for you? Attraction is a very complex, very mysterious thing. Who knows why you don’t fit Karen’s needs, but it’s not because you’re generally unattractive — at all.

    Still, pull back. Let your mind get off of Karen. You are a grown man, and you should know but seem not to so trust me, you do not love HER, you love the idea of finding a kind, warm, woman who shares your interests. You don’t want to be lonely — I get it. I’m married, and very lonely. Though I haven’t read back, it sounds like you were, too. So there is no need to rush into a serious relationship with anyone. You are in the lucky position of being able to carefully look around the world for the woman who genuinely fits with you — without cajoling or convincing, one who naturally falls in with you, and you with her.

    Oh, and as soon as you honestly let go of these fantasies in your mind, I think you’ll find your friendship blossoms again — DO NOT let that be fuel for your fire, again. She will feel she can trust having her old friend, and be the sparkling, warm person who attracted you in the first place, but you have to put things into perspective. She could be a good friend to you at this time in your life. And don’t ever tell her about your feelings unless you don’t care if you’re ever friends again. It will be way too weird.

  5. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Thanks Elle, but I knew most of this already. I just couldn’t make the break. I was able to this weekend. I am not even looking for another relationship. I feel at peace. I feel really free, not just of this obsession with Karen, but of my sorrow over the end of the marriage. I had never really, truly seen things from her perspective, never truly faced reality – the fantasy was too strong. I do indeed feel free.

  6. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Hey somebody, I’ve been giving the second part of your 11/30/07 message some thought. I’m attracted to women my own age sometimes, for friendship. I never stopped being turned on by my ex, even as her jowls increased, her weight increased, her hands turned old & leathery looking, and she had to regularly dye her hair. Every look at her bare skin or touch of her body was enough to arouse me. I’m still attracted to her. However, being attracted sexually to other old-looking women is difficult. For one, in my experience, women lose interest in sex as they get old, especially during and after menopause. Men never lose interest their entire lives, and can in fact father children their entire lives. Since it is rare for an old woman to conceive, I suspect men have always looked to younger women for sex. I’ve heard that some older women enjoy sex, but I’ve yet to meet one, so why would I expect to have good sex with women who no longer enjoy it, and only have it for their spouse’s sake? I love cuddling, holding hands, snuggling during movies and in bed, but that is not enough. I believe the answer to your question is simply, sex. Men are conditioned, perhaps inherently through biology, to seek out young women for procreation. This is not to say that a man can’t continue to have a great sexual relationship with his spouse when they get old, but a single man? or a married man that is not getting sex and/or passion? And, of course men will hit on women of any age that appear sexually attractive. You said, “I began to wonder if I looked old or something.” Are you kidding? Do you think people have a filter on their attractions, that men can only be attracted to women their own age? That was the funniest thing I ever read, that a man who hits on you thinks you look old! That was really, really funny. Thanks.


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