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That escalated quickly

Welp, Dennis and I had another very long conversation last night.
HE and I both decided that if we were going to continue the way we are, that we need to discuss long term plans. Neither one of us are young, and don't want to spend time playing games.
He wants a wife, I want a husband. That much is clear. Whether we will be those things to each other is not clear, but we seem to have the same end goal.

The conversation evolved after he asked if I was talking to other men the same way I am with him. I said I had been talking with other men, as I am lonely and want the sort of conversation men provide, but that as I talked to him more, the other men sort of fell by the wayside, and his conversation was the only one I was having at the time. He had done the same...but hadn't had any sort of serious relationship since the death of his wife some years back. He'd dated some, but the women never really seemed that interested in who he was.

OH! I don't think I mentioned this: He's a widower. No kids. And a little older than me which explains why he thinks I look young. (He's 65)
Also...he's dead handsome. (in my opinion)...not that it matters but...



So basically last night I laid it out to him. I am lonely, I want a companion for the rest of life. He doesn't need to be wealthy but I don't have income to support 2 so he needs to have his own income. I was brutally honest about what I want, why I want it, and that I don't have time to fiddle around playing with men for the fun of it.

I told him I loved Terry when he died and that I was not wanting someone who thought he could fill that hole. He said he had no intention of filling any hole, and respected my relationship with Terry. What about your sons? he asked. They know I am talking to you and gave me their blessing to date again.

He also read my mind a few times. I would be thinking something and he would say word-for-word what I was thinking before I ever said it, even when it wasn't in context of what was just said. No, I don't believe in soul mates or any of that nonsense, but I do think great minds think alike.

He said he loved that I am smart, and pick up on what he's saying and able to run with it, and that I am apparently very interested in his life, what he does, and how he does it. That I was willing to invest time to research his hometown and his work was something he'd never experienced before.

One of the things I told him was that I am a damn good wife and companion, and I would not allow him to play games with me, lead me on and then walk off. If that is what he was planning, to stop right now so I can keep looking and trying to figure out if God's plan was for me to have a husband again, or to be single. He said he had no intention of playing games, that he was looking for the same thing.

He's going to come to Savannah when he's done with this job he's one. Not sure when that's going to happen. He stays with his contract until the finished products are delivered to the customer, to the point of going to China for a couple of weeks to collect his trucks, inspect them, and bring them home.

Ah...and he wants an administrative assistant...WHAAAAT....

And wants to retire in a few years. And doesn't have any idea where he wants to retire. Funny that I have a cute little house in the woods, perfect for 2 people and retirement.

Still guarding my heart, still aware that at this moment he's just all the right words and a couple of photographs and that we might take one look at each other in Savannah and decide NOPE...

But hope is growing and I didn't sleep much last night with all this rolling around in my head.
I've been having an extended online conversation with a very pleasant gentleman (seriously, not even remotely inappropriate in ANY way...so nice!).
No, I'm not in love. It's just been really, really nice to talk to a man. Well, write...but in a chat format so sort of? He is French, and came to the US because of his business and the better economy.
Yes. I know he could be making everything up, but currently I have no reason to think he's lying.
No, he does not have my last name, phone number, and all he knows about where I live is "near Savannah"
But wow, it's been nice to have a conversation with a fellow of the male persuasion.
He says he's not married, and so far I have no reason to doubt that.
I know, it could all be a pack of lies and he could be a Mormon in Utah with 27 wives and 300 children.
We discussed the order of how dating someone works last night. I questioned him and asked some leading questions, and he answered them all kind of perfectly.
"I think meeting for coffee and seeing if we can stand each other's company would be the first thing to do." he said.
"Then dinner and maybe a movie for the second one."
and
"yes, young women are beautiful, but they're also boring."

So, am I interested? Slightly. He says he's a Believer and seems to know his doctrine well. It's worth investigating but I tend to guard my heart very carefully. Plus there's the whole "we live on opposite sides of the country" issue. He's in Portland Oregon.

The nice thing is, a long time about, when construction first began on the new house, Dad told me that there was a possibility I'd meet someone and not live in that house. He understood that and the house would be fine waiting until I was ready for it. Mom doesn't understand that at all.

To be honest, I am kind of lonely, even with all the busyness of school and everything else. Even with the kids living here. It's not the same. I want a companion. However, not so badly I'm willing to do anything foolish to find one. It's not the sex, it's the someone to talk to in the evening, cook a meal for, spend Saturday morning in bathrobes until 10am, having coffee and trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the weekend. (which implies marriage, I know....) I miss that.

I've been ok up until now, managing and not missing the sort of friendship Terry and I had. There will be no replacement for him, obviously, but there is room for another sort.

I was thinking about it all the other day, and how what you look for is radically different at 52, than at 20. I don't need a good father for my children, or someone with potential to support a growing family. I wouldn't complain if he were successful financially, but it isn't vitally necessary, as I am capable of taking care of that myself. (No, I don't want to support him, but I don't need him to support me. I don't require, really, many of the qualities I looked for 30 years ago. Now, it's a good conversationalist, an encourager, and someone willing to let me be me, and have my space. Often I think I just want a boyfriend, not even a full-on husband, butI don't want to go the lover route. All or none.

But...I am lonely for companionship of the male variety. I'll have to figure something out.

problems problems

Last night David was cooking something and I asked how things were going.
Fine. he said
Hm. I replied
then he said
NO! It isn't fine! I'm tired of schoool! If i get a degree I'll end up being a manager and I DON'T WANT TO BE A MANAGER. I don't want a degree! I don't know what I want to do but it isn't this!
Then he said
Wow, I feel much better for having gotten that off my chest.
I didn't say anything, just looked at him and let him talk. (and bleeding inside)
He also said
Don't worry, Mom, I'll clean up the kitchen.
This morning, the kitchen wasn't cleaned up. Dishes were piled in the sink, pots on the stove. I banged on his door (it was 5:45) and shouted at him. I hate being the only authority figure (such as it is) in the house. when Terry was here, I was the "Good Cop". Consequently, I don't have that hold of a bit of fear over them. I want to move to Alabama now so I can leave everyone behind and let them figure it all out for themselves. They're grown men. Let them live under a bridge for a while. But how do I make them quit thinking they can say anything they want to me?
I am so thankful David is no longer attached to/living with (whatever you call it) Amanda. She seemed nice enough but underneath was a big ol' wad of bad.

Here's why I'm saying that. I'd been letting David use my car to get her to and from work in Reidsville (45 minutes away). I found out (a long time after the fact, and from a 3rd party) that he allowed her to drive it, and she got a super-speeder ticket in it. YESTERDAY, after getting a nastygram from my car insurance company informing my my policy was in jeopardy due to These Reasons:
1. Margaret Dodd- Speeding Ticket (yes, I accept that.)
2. Robert Dodd (Eli)- Accident (a fender bender in the school parking lot)
3. David Dodd- open container
WHAT THE HELL
I grilled David and he said it was when Amanda got that ticket. Open Container.
"Mom, notice there's not a DUI"
Open Container. What kind of stupid is that?
Not only that, my insurance (10% increase for the ticket) jumped from $166 per month to $460 per month. I called because I thought it was being cancelled entirely. $460 per month represents nearly 1/4 of a month's income for me. It means the money I am making sewing, and was putting aside for a trip in 2 years, will now go to pay car insurance. Eli offered right away to pay an extra $100 per month to pay his share. I can remove David from the policy, but that will only drop it by $20, and means if he gets caught driving the car and is in a wreck, insurance will pay nothing toward it. So I may just keep him on it, because there will be times. However, I may not tell him that. With Eli paying an extra $100, and I can take his rent (also $100) That will essentially mean I will only (only!) be paying an extra $100 per month. Translation- no more eating out. No movies, that sort of thing, unless the sewing increases dramatically. David needs to find a damn job and start making payments as well. I let him live here rent free as my contribution toward his education. If he got a job, I'd charge $150/ month toward the car insurance.
The accident, I understand, as do I the speeding ticket. Eli got a speeding ticket not long ago. It's not on the report yet. I priced out if he were to get his own car insurance, not on my policy. It will be $250 a month. We are going to look into that. It is all very upsetting but I have to keep telling myself it's going to be ok. Because it will. Also, I am a very careful driver and other than that speeding ticket a year ago, my driving record is near perfect.

In good news: Eli may have a recommendation for The Citadel. That is, might be able to get in on an ROTC scholarship from an alumnus recommendation. Not sure, because of stuff, but he might. The scholarship covers only tuition ($40,000 a year) but he has a fair bit in the bank that might go toward the rest. I don't know if it would be enough to cover expenses. We will have to look at it. It would be amazing if he could go there, but I am not going to get hopes up. It is extremely expensive.

Anyway. I'll be fine. I'm going to church today, and spend time worshipping a God who is Holy, just, merciful, kind, loving, and who knows what He is doing. Even when I don't.

Thick with anxiety

So, David has reached his breaking point with his girlfriend. Apparently she belittles him constantly, calls him "fucking idiot" when he doesn't get something done when she thinks it should be, that sort of thing. He told me he's going to break up with her tomorrow. While he's doing that (in a restaurant where he knows everyone), Eli is going to be taking her stuff to her father's house. While I am sad to see it happen, and watch David have the anxiety about doing it that he is, there is no reason he should have to live with that sort of treatment. To have it end 10 years from now with children and divorce and all, that's worse. I am sad for her, as she has no idea what's about to happen and dropping a bomb on her is going to hurt. But, he will feel much better about it afterward and not having to live constantly with "what's she going to call me next" will be a release. He is looking at getting a co-op job this summer with Westinghouse, that will have him in NC. If that doesn't happen, he can go back to his job with Milliken and they will have him cheerfully. He can live with me as long as he's in school (of course, the 3 months of Summer if he's with Milliken, because there's no point in moving out for three months, but I'll charge rent)
I expect her to blow up and demand payback for the stuff she spent on him, and I am going to suggest that is a good idea, but she'll need to deduct the $450/mo/9mos rent, $250/mo groceries, and $15/day car rental since my car was used to get her to and from work. Also, she said she'd clean my house weekly in exchange for rent and that didn't happen AT ALL.3 times she swept the floors. In the whole 9 months. So. There's that. I don't expect it to go smoothly and with no shouting, but that's why he wants to do it publicly in a place where everyone knows him and will have his back. He and I are going to Alabama the next day, as he will need to get away for a bit. Eli will stay here and he'll be safe, as he is armed. Not that I think anything will happen but I'm going to give him the neighbor's phone number anyway. I don't know if she's capable of going full on bat-shit crazy, but still.
I can't put this Out There, because...I can't. But, I'm angry as hell at Terry for eating himself to death and putting me where I have to do math. There. i said it. I tried so hard to cook right, fix him good lunches and nutritcious (I can never spell that) meals and he wasn't satisfied and had to fill in the theoretical blanks with Taco Bell and Red Barn fried catfish. He ate the breakfasts I made, then stopped and got a sausage biscuit (or three) on the way to work. He would get mad because I didn't keep ice cream in the freezer, so I started doing it, thinking that if it was always there he'd eat less of it, like a little each night but no. He'd scoop himself up a pint full every. single. night so I quit keeping it and he got mad about that too. How horrible and controlling of me to want to see that he ate well and lived until he was 80. It really was an issue, my controlling his food. He didn't like it. So we see what happened there. and here I am, left a widow, without the companion I chose for my lifetime, because he preferred ice cream.

I'm going to bed and read Steven King's Needful Things. Because it's Friday and I'm full of a gin and tonic and my husband has been dead for 2 years.
I'm done with Excel, there's no exam. At 4 today (it's currently nearing 3) I have an Office procedures exam. I'm not worried, as I barely cracked open the book and have a 95 in the class. Tomorrow at 10am is the Leadership class. As long as there aren't a lot of questions about the names of assorted studies I'll be fine. I could not show up for the exam at all and still come out with an 81 in the class. I'll show up though. I'm trying to see just how high of a grade I can make in there. Thursday at 1 is the Math. Factoring. Yikes. I'll print out the study guide and answers at the school today. My printer is out of ink and as long as it's school related stuff I can print out whatever there.
What I really want is a nap. However, what will happen is the exam, come home, start on supper, but I'm definitely going to bed early tonight. I have been foggy all day long.

When exams are over, I think maybe we'll get the Christmas decorations up. Next weekend (not the upcoming one) I'm going to Auburn to paint the walls of the new house. A friend and her husband have said they'd come too, but I'm not holding them to that. I'd love it if they did but...not holding them to it. It would send Mom into a swivet because I didn't let her know of it 5 months in advance.
Good news! Chandler the Electrician changed out the breaker and now the stove works like a charm!

Bad News! In between his diagnoses, and coming to fix it the next day, the water heater died! Since I was going to Home Depot anyway (in Pooler, about a 40 minute drive) to order toilets for the New House ( online wasn't working. I could order but had to go to a store to pay), I got a fixit set (thermostats and heating elements) for the water heater (after consultation with dad). Not expensive=$27. I forgot to get the weird size socket for removing the old elements tho. I called Chandler and he said he could change all that out no problem, and would look for the socket at Lowes when he was getting the new breaker. He got the thermostats changed, but couldn't find the socket. So, there's power to the heater, but still no hot water. Elemental, my dear! David's going to run back down to Pooler, and look for the $2 socket thing. The Home Depot and Lowes are about 500 yards apart. Changing the elements is super simple (I googled and youtubed it), you just unscrew the old ones, pull them out, and screw in the new ones.

More bad news! The microwave oven died! They say bad things happen in 3's, and that's 3 things. David wants to take it apart and build a Tesla Death Ray.

Last night I was feeling irritated, discouraged, and sorry for myself. While sadly cleaning the cornbread pan after dinner (at least the stove works now!), Amanda looked over and said "Why don't you go take a nice hot bath?" I stared at her for 2 seconds and she shouted (remember she's from Long Island) "OH FUCK ME!" and I started giggling. That fixed the sads and I felt better. She, however, felt like a bloomin' idiot and apologized for the next 30 minutes, for both the bath comment and the profanity.

I went to bed counting my blessings: God loves me, a warm house, a great family, Amanda has a job and starts Monday, I'm healthy, Will's doing great, Eli has his job back, so many, many things. Having no hot water is a very, very minor inconvenience, and having no microwave ain't any thang at all. (plus there's a spare one that was in Terry's Mancave)

I've been told that perhaps the house has learned of the new house, and is jealous.

Good things

I was able to find good insurance coverage with a private (non-Obamacare) company, that costs about half what Obamacare was going to charge once the rate hike happens in January. *whew!* Even when Eli gets added in April (he loses Medicaid March 31) it will be less than the one-person premium I would have to pay.

I indulged in a little retail therapy today in Savannah. I bought a 1/2 yard of fabric with which to make Eli both a cravat and a bowtie to wear with his new suit. Plans have been made with a photographer friend to take a day in November and have his Senior Pictures done. He has several ideas, most of which involve a longsword. At least he isn't exploding something. Probably only because I don't think he's considered it yet.

I also went into GoodWill and found a beautiful powder pink cashmere sweater and a camisole embroidered with pink things that I can wear under it, because wearing a shirt with sleeves under such a thing will be too hot for around here. I intended to look for Eli some flannel shirts but they didn't have any.

Han Me market was visited, and I stocked up on curry pastes and sticky rice, also bhan me noodles, sesame oil, and....um...something else.

Then to Lucky's Market- a wonderfully less expensive version of Whole Foods, and I got some much desired Fall vegetables, to be roasted once the oven is fixed. Fortunately they all keep really well and won't spoil until January, if it takes that long.

David's girlfriend Amanda had a 2:30 job interview. i haven't heard how that went. Will's former girlfriend Andrea is now in San Francisco, living with a man she found more interesting than Will. We are all relieved because Will was feeling very taken advantage of but is too gentle to give her the boot. He wanted her to go for several months but she had no other place to go (parents wouldn't have her) and he didn't want to feel responsible for putting someone on the street.

I have to interview a Leader for my leadership class. He slid into the description of the project a half sentence about interviewing someone who's dead, though he implied heavily he'd prefer someone who's alive. I'm doing Eisenhower because the only people I can think of to interview and SUPER busy. Plus introversion. There is information a-plenty, including autobiographical stuff and interviews, from which I can glean answers to questions. And no. I'm not going to cheat and just copy an existing interview because I know better and I want this instructor as a reference for a grant request. I'm going to make this the best interview he's ever read.

Amanda's back and thinks the interview went well. There's one other person to interview yet but he didn't show up due to "getting stuck in traffic" but in Reidsville? The only sort of traffic involves getting stuck behind a peanut combine.

Wow, that was brazen

I'm reading through the posts on my American Lit discussion board. It's strictly online so the board is how assignments are turned in and part of that is commenting on other student's threads. So I'm reading one and it is an exact cut-and-past of what I posted several days earlier. Not even reworded, just cut-and-paste. I am not angry, but rather amused at the chutzpah because the instructor isn't stupid. And, since the posts are dated it is obvious mine was posted first. this is one of the reasons I get the assignments done quickly and turned in as early as I can. Also, I turned in the final project and realized too late I'd forgotten the bibliography...which is SUPER important. I mean, I HAVE the bibliography, I just forgot to put it in the final panel (it's a power point). So, I sent it to the instructor with fervent pleas for mercy and and stuff. Since it's on Flannery O'Connor, and our final reading was Good Country People, I am kind of hoping he'll take pity and be gentle. I think he will because frankly, I've done a kick ass job in the class (have a 3.8 in it) and we have had some good conversations.