So, I failed to take the off-ramp to the high road Sunday evening.

I let my anger slip a little and by a little I mean I was angrier than I ever recall being in my entire life. I just let it rip.

It’s not funny nor am I proud of it, but the sheer ferocity of my fury was actually impressive. Ok, it’s a little funny in a very macabre sort of way.

It’s also embarrassing though. I’m a little disappointed in myself.

It was a long time coming and the pot finally boiled over. Not cool, man.

I’m not going to beat myself up over this though. I’m not proud of it and all I did was likely make things difficult for myself because her hypocrisy holds no bounds. She unknowingly suffers from an acute lack of self-awareness and gratitude but that was already a known quantity.

I knew better and, although she was the catalyst for this, my response was solely my doing.

So, I’m going to stand back up and dust myself off. Hold my head level and start walking my path again.

We all make mistakes and we all fail from time to time. It’s not something to be proud of nor is it something to beat ourselves up about.

I tell you what though, my new place can’t become available soon enough.

P.S. It’s interesting to note that Zugg has been expressing his displeasure at the things he has been observing. That puts me in the precarious and difficult position of listening and validating him while trying very hard to not bash or demean his mother. Even though he seems to be calling it exactly right.

Anyone Else Bitchy?

I don’t think it’s just the nicotine withdrawal either.

I think it’s just that there’s a great big pig-pile of unfinished and unaddressed nonsense that we’re supposed to choke down and smile about. (Keep a stiff upper lip, ‘ol Son.)

Yes, I’m talking about the China Coof, I’m talking about the politics and lockdowns. I’m talking about the racial issues and the economic ones too. I’m talking about all of it.

Plus, the normal everyday problems people have as well that random Tuesday at 4pm phone call that is the one we REALLY should be worried about.

As the cherry on top, it’s all inescapable. There’s nothing that I, personally, can do about any of it. I’m trapped. We’re trapped. Multiple times over.

For me, escape is fleeting and the inevitable reminder keeps getting worse at harshing my mellow. But, I’m too damn stubborn to submit to it long term.

Todays forecast ? Mostly brooding with a side of bitchy. Tonight is looking like partly quiet and a 20% chance of Scotch.

Who knew the one good thing to come out of all of this was an ability to control the weather?

Why Not Make It Harder On Myself?

I’ve decided that it’s finally time for me to quit smoking. Conventional thinking says that in the midst of some of the most stressful life events may not be the best time to go forth and conquer with this.

I’m aware and have been aware of all of the negative aspects of smoking cigarettes. I don’t need pictures, graphs, statistics, or lectures.

It’s a filthy, disgusting, expensive, and deadly long term. Got it. (Sometimes, it was really, really nice though. I’ll miss those times until the point where I stop missing them.)

I don’t think you can say you’ve quit something if you’ve eventually picked it back up, so I’ll say that I’ve stopped smoking before. It’s time for me to quit.

I know that I can never smoke another one again. Not one. Not ever. I had thought I had quit for over a couple of years but made a mistake one night and had a smoke whilst drinking. It was horrible and made me sick. But then I had another a day or two later. Then I started negotiating with myself to give me a reason to smoke. Then, finally, I just ended up being a smoker again.

I believe that all of the gimmicks and drugs and therapy and other stuff to help people quit are simply just money grabs or ways for people to make excuses to not quit. What’s better for the vendor than paying repeatedly for a service?

Ultimately, and this is what they don’t tell you, you’ve either made your mind up to do something or you haven’t.

Unless you have yourself absolutely convinced that you can make changes to your life then it’s not going to stick.

I think this goes for anything we want to change about ourselves.

You either do or do not want to do something (there is no try, HA!) You’ll either tolerate it or you won’t. You have the conviction and you’re convinced that you will. Period.

Everything else just gives you an excuse to fail.

Another Thunk I Thought

I was recently made aware that there are apparently “life-coaches,” that purport to help women win back over their husbands as the marriage fails. Why was I so surprised that this existed?

I’m all too aware of the multitude of works and authors and “stuff,” available for men but it never occurred to me that there would be similar that was available to women as well. Of course there would be a market for it.

A hasty search revealed a voluminous amount of information available for women to regain or keep their marriages with their husbands. Out of curiosity I quickly perused a couple and the information was about what I expected. Don’t read that statement into my thinking it’s a negative, just that it consisted of what I expected it would.

It just got me wondering if my ex had taken the time or effort to do any research or work on this? I’m willing to admit that it’s possible and I didn’t see it but really I think that I didn’t see it because there wasn’t all that much effort and therefore wasn’t anything to see.

To this I go back to something I realized a while ago and that’s: “If what you are trying to communicate to your partner isn’t being heard then that’s generally on the speaker and not the listener.”

[Before someone comes at me with the torches and pitchforks they need to understand I am speaking about a reasonable situation with reasonable people who want to come to a reasonable solution. Yes, there are people who are so blinded and clueless or in denial that nothing will penetrate their cranium. (Who knows, maybe I’m actually one of them.)]

What I mean by this is that any effort I saw given was so short lived that I could never get past the knowledge or belief that it simply wasn’t going to last. I’m talking three days of effort, max. This isn’t to say that she didn’t try harder and longer than that, I don’t know. But if she did that proves my point from earlier that for communication to be heard by the listener it has to be delivered in a method and way that they are able to understand.

I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop and drop it always did. Always. Inevitably there’d be the roller coaster of emotion that began something like:

Why didn’t she try? If she did, why didn’t she do so in a manner that I could understand? (I had given her the answers to the test, after all.) Did she not see me for me? Did she not want to understand? Does she even love me anymore?

Those questions could only be answered by other questions that led me lower and lower:

Am I not worthy of being understood? Am I not good enough to be loved? Am I too ugly or unattractive to her? Are the things she is saying about me true? Am I really that bad? How could someone want to stay with a horrible person like me? Do I deserve this?

Which got my dander up a bit and it was anger and stubbornness that lifted me from the depths of depression. I’m fairly certain that’s not healthy. Effective but likely counterproductive.

Along with the life-coach was a discovery of a Reddit sub called “Dead Bedrooms.” I’ve recently posted about Reddit and don’t want to go further along that anymore. What is absolutely unbelievable to me was to hear stories of women lamenting the fact that their male SO doesn’t want any sort of intimacy with them. Not purely sexual although that’s the overwhelming story.

I can’t relate to that.

If anything, for me it was the opposite. I don’t feel like digressing here as I’ve touched on this topic a couple of times. My point being, I cannot in any way comprehend a woman having this problem. More specifically, I can’t comprehend my woman having this problem. It’s not about the sex. It’s about someone putting in the work to try and feel close to me in the same manner that I’m trying to do the same.

I feel like I’m whining. Not because I’m doing a poor job of expressing some vulnerability here but because I feel like I’m being negative. It’s just that I don’t have anywhere to unpack and repack this. So you, Dear Reader, get to see a part of me that nobody else does.

On an ironic note, apparently I’m an Incel for now. I just discovered this is a thing and although I meet the practical definition of it, don’t parlay that into thinking I meet the cultural one.

I just think it’s funny to say.

First of the Thinks I’ve Recently Thunk

There’s a few thoughts that keep buzzing around my head lately. I’ll likely have to divvy them up because I’m not sure how to put them into written form without it feeling like I’m woebegone or seeking sympathy and I’m simply not that good of a writer to be able to say what I want to say while keeping it short.

**Jarring segue, I know, but I like to read well written prose. Clear, concise, and the sort where the information is so easily understood to the reader.

I don’t think that’s me. I think that my style is much more lumbering, erratic, poorly grammaticized, and contains far to many juicy adjectives. (That one was on purpose.) But, we run what we brought.**

(What am I saying, this isn’t even the point of this blog post. Get to the point, Ogg!)

So, back to not desiring sympathy or, more accurately, pity.

It occurred to me that I don’t know the last time I loved her. I’m not talking about being “in love,” but actually loving her. Years, certainly. It’s abundantly clear that she hasn’t loved me for longer than that, or at least that’s what it felt like to me.

It’s sad. I wanted to love her. I wanted to feel loved by her. I think that most of our problems simply came about because of our inability to communicate these things with each other. Along with this, I feel grossly misunderstood on a whole host of issues.

Also, I don’t know what it’s like to be desired. To feel wanted. I’m not talking about physically although that’s a part of it. What I’m saying is that I don’t remember what it’s like to feel like something other than the most basic of farm equipment. Suitable for my usefulness only. Good enough to pull the plow and plant/harvest the seed but nobody ever tells the ox that they did a good job.

This isn’t to say that she didn’t try and do things to make me feel appreciated…sometimes. Occasionally. Infrequently. Ok, almost never.

We couldn’t have known it in our early twenties, but our personalities when it came to romantic relationships couldn’t have been a worse match for each other. We couldn’t have been more opposite, apparently.

It doesn’t matter though. None of it matters.

Insight Checklist

I’ve been trying to actively work on introspection lately. I don’t know if that’s specific to me or if that’s something that everyone has to do to move forward emotionally. Be active about it.

I’ve caught myself going through the accumulated list of things that I’m apparently a failure at. I still find myself reasoning some of them out as a response to her and as a result of what I’ve known for a long time was a toxic marriage. I’m not going to go into those as some of them are nurtured characteristics as opposed to being part of my nature. Or at least I think they are.

Nah, what I need to do is to go through a list of things where I know I’ve not been good at. I need to be honest with myself about it and put it into writing rather than have them keep floating through my psyche as formless, nameless concepts.

This is going to be difficult trying to not rationalize though, I can already see that.

These are things I know that I need to be better at moving forward:

I wasn’t as thoughtful about other peoples feelings as I should have been. I have a bold, strong personality and I’m fairly intelligent so it’s easy to dig my heels in when I think I’m right.

Piggybacking on this, I wasn’t always as tactful as I could have been. It’s sometimes hard knowing the right way to say things but I need to understand that, although I can appreciate and accept bluntness, others might struggle with the abruptness and honesty.

I need to ensure that I’m not telling anymore of those little white lies. Y’know, those lies that just help to smooth things over and avoid problems or a long explanation. It erodes trust.

I really need to be consistent in motivation and follow-through. It’s not as if the intentions aren’t there, it’s that the results didn’t always follow. Actions not words.

There are other things that I suspect I need to get better at or fix, but they are so layered and intertwined with allegations that I’m not sure are accurate that I can’t really sort them out right now. Time will certainly tell.

I will say that I think I’m in a lot better shape than I am accused of being but again time will tell.

The “I’ve Been Banned,” Stream of Consciousness Post

In my journey of self-discovery and course correction I’ve been doing a lot of reading and watching videos. I don’t have a rubric to achieve this and the topic selection is governed primarily by whim and fancy.

So I end up in some strange places sometimes. You know how it goes…I start by researching the Narcissistic spectrum and end up learning which is the best cylinder cleaning chemical for internal combustion engines (with pictures.)

As part of this I somehow wandered into Reddit and their dating over forty section. Now, I’m Gen X so I don’t have a full grasp of what Reddit truly is. I don’t have any particular compunction to learn it either as it seems like a great way to add toxicity into your life, but I was amused enough there to actually create an account and post a few times.

Most of what I wrote was encouragement or simply to question what someone was saying. Much of the rest was to help and answer questions from my perspective or even to add some levity.

I noticed a trend there though. People (and in all candor it seemed to be mostly women,) bitching and moaning how they weren’t having any success. Pisswhining about how all the members of the opposite sex they were meeting were trash/garbage/worthless/whatever.

And/Or they took offense at even, what I thought to be, innocuous statements.

So I got a message that I got permanently banned. No explanation given. No warnings. I honest to goodness have no idea why I was given the boot on this. I don’t believe I said anything even remotely controversial other than in a general sense when someone posted something I disagreed with. Even the jokes that I cracked were nowhere near pushing the envelope of edgy or inappropriate.

I think I got banned because I commented that a woman’s usage of a very minor insulting word spells out danger in my male mind. That’s honestly the only thing I can think of. Apparently I was already on someone’s shit-list to begin with, I guess. If so, fuck ’em. I’ve spent the last twenty years tip-toeing through mine fields. I’m not going to engage in intentional trolling behavior (at least I’m not going to do it there,) but I’m also not going to worry about the potential for every single word I say to be misconstrued into something else. Go be miserable by yourselves, I say.

I also can safely say that they really do take themselves way to seriously for folks who are over forty.

It doesn’t bother me one whit that I’m not allowed there anymore. I’ll write this blog about it and then never worry about it again.

Some further observations: It seemed to me though that for many of the people there, they were the source of their own problems. The problem for these people seem to emanate from themselves. They were the root cause of it. Just reading what many of them wrote and how they came to their conclusions was simply unattractive to me. Even more so when they doubled down on nastiness when questioned.

I’m not currently looking to date. That page intrigued me as I thought maybe it would give me some insight into what things looked like or perhaps a different frame of reference than I was used to having. Maybe there were even nuggets I could take away for myself concerning why my marriage failed. At worst it was entertaining.

I’m not looking for a relationship either. I don’t have my shit together yet and even if I did I’m in no shape to commit to someone as it wouldn’t be good for either of us. There’s work to be done. I have to establish my new cave and determine what that looks like for me and mine.

But clearly, I’m disliked there and I find it amusing.

Amusing because I fit the criteria most of those harridans are whinging about not being able to find.

Am I for everybody? Nope. Not even close. I’m absolutely alright with that. I don’t have to put to words all of the things about myself that I think are good qualities I possess. I don’t need self-affirmation in that way. These are things that I know to be true, intrinsically, about myself. I have my flaws and I’m working to fix and identify them but I’m a damn good man.

I think the biggest irritant here is that if I have erred in my thinking I want to know. I want to hear a different perspective. I want to be provided with an alternative point of view. This way I can further hone my beliefs. I assume others are open minded and want to do the same. Apparently I am guilty of projection.

I learned that from the Narcissist video.

A Good Place?

I’m wondering where my headspace is at. Logistics are pretty much finalized on who is going where. The timing is the only question.

Disposition of the family home has been decided. Terms of visitation/parenting time are essentially decided in principle but unknown in execution. Essentially, since the youngest two are both mobile and are old enough there isn’t going to be a set schedule.

As far as divorces go this is about as collaborative as it could have been. The lions share of the burden is on me until the youngest graduates (finishing her Freshman year of HS,) and then it’s completely splitsville between the ex and I. No alimony, no nothing. We sell the house and all proceeds 50/50. My 401(k) 50/50. My military pension and retirement I keep. It’s far better than it could have been and we can finalize it without additional lawyer expense.

Here’s what is confusing for me though. I’m not angry with her at all. I’m over the grieving (I think.) Dare I say that I’m looking forward to single life? I’m looking forward to taking care of my own place and doing my own thing. I’m looking forward to figuring out what my style of decor looks like. For most of my life I’ve really loved decorative woodwork out of cherry wood. I’m not so sure that’s what I want to go with now.

Once the last of my kids goes off to college, I’m not sure where I want to live. I’m not sure how big or small of a place I want. Acreage? I don’t know. I’m starting with a semi-clean slate. Much of the decor decisions are going to end up based on the house I buy (or don’t buy.)

I’ve started selecting things like tableware and glasses, which I’ll need. I’ve started looking at the necessary furniture I’m going to have to purchase. Really just the beds though. Since my own bed selection is guaranteed to change once I get my next permanent place.

I know that I’m going to want some sort of workshop space though, so there has to either be a pole barn or the potential to build one.

Otherwise, the world is my oyster and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Which is an oddly gratifying thought. We’ll also see how much of what I did that seemed unnoticed and unappreciated gets recognized. I’ll bet it is but never admitted to. I’m ok with that too. I don’t need anything from her and I’ll be living my own life.

In my place. Mine. I’ll be doing it how I choose to do it. Rick James, bitch.

I Discovered Tik-Tok

Full disclosure, I do not have any social media accounts other than a Linkedin page and a throwaway Twitter account which I’ve already been permanently banned for the 3rd (4th?) time.

I use Twitter solely to shitpost and make fun of some of the more tightly wound people out there. I use LinkedIn for job searches and networking. That’s all I have.

It started because one of my kids showed me a compilation of dads being video’d as the children told their Mothers to “shut-up.” Some was humorous and most of it was interesting to watch their reaction.

I ended up down a rabbit-hole where I started finding people playing pranks on other people they were in a relationship with. Although fascinating I cannot believe how mean some of these people are to their girlfriend or boyfriends. It was appalling.

I’m not talking about some good natured pranks that everyone can laugh about at the end. I’m talking about things that can undermine relationships: tricking their significant other into believing there was unfaithfulness, tricking their significant other into believing that they had spent all of their money, saying extraordinarily rude things to them, etc.

Maybe it’s a maturity thing or maybe it’s a generational thing but I simply didn’t think it was funny. Watching videos of people being emotionally (sometimes physically,) hurt just isn’t my idea of a good time.

I was thinking about what I would do if someone I was with got me to believe that they were cheating on me. I wouldn’t laugh about it with them. I’d probably just leave immediately.

It’s somewhat akin to the April Fools Day prank where you tell someone that there’s a pregnancy or that you’re breaking up with them.

All it does is undermine someone’s confidence in themselves and in the sanctity of their relationship. There’s no way some of this hurt doesn’t linger. There’s no way this doesn’t undermine trust in a lasting way. It’s simply a terrible idea.

Cruelty to others for the sake of publicity or some cheap laughs just isn’t my thing. Will I make commentary to myself while people-watching? Sure. Am I fairly liberal on who and what groups of people are fair game to make fun of? Yesiree. I say everyone is fair game to poke fun of.

But being mean and knowingly hurting the feelings of someone you are supposed to be protective of? Nah, I’ll pass. I’d rather say and do uplifting things for them and make them feel good rather than willingly participating in a situation where they would feel bad. Maybe it’s just me.

When these people eventually find themselves to be single do you think there will be any reflection on their part in it? I don’t think they currently have the self-awareness to do that either.

But I’m old, so fuck it.