On Cougars, and Pink, and Film

The weekend was a test of willpower. Not to marry him- all of those plans have been cancelled officially and guests notified. Friday, BC convinced me to join him for 80’s night at Lava, where I watched a cougar in her 40’s dance around in a sundress and cardigan from first cocktail all the way until the end of the evening when she was groping a man in pleated pants against a speaker and left with him hand-in-hand for later night fun all smiles. I promptly informed BC that I was not allowed to be out in a sundress and cardigan grinding by 22 year olds. He promised to maintain my dignity well into my woman-of-a-certain-age years.

We moved on for a night cap at a quieter bar where he calmly and rationally told me that I was doing the right thing. We had gotten so caught up in conversation, that we carried on to the nearby after hours dive for a few more. Which lasted about 30 minutes until the ex showed up at the same place. We nodded, acknowledged, and BC promptly whisked me home. The ex and I aren’t doing public melodrama, and Pittsburgh’s a small enough city that we’re bound to run into one another even with the best intentions not to. I just didn’t have it in me to be in the same space and not with each other.

Saturday, thanks to a mild 80’s and bourbon hangover and lingering gloom, I stayed in the bed til afternoon, then gathered my books, sat and read until evening and decided when a massive thunderstorm hit to stay on the couch all night. The girly girls forced It’s Called a Break-Up, Because It’s Broken on me, so now I am not only newly single and 31, I also read self-help books on Saturday nights. While the tone of the book is a little too “Cosmo quiz” for me, I have to admit all the reinforcement of everything I know deep down about letting this go and moving on helps.

On Sunday I was wide awake at 9 am, so I pulled the sheets off the bed and hit the laundromat for some physical cleaning to go along with my mental housekeeping. When I got back, I just couldn’t stand the bedroom for some reason, so I dragged everything out into the hallway, tugged and pulled, and rearranged, brought in some bookshelves and tucked his nightstand into the spare room. I never realized that I hated the way the room was arranged- and I like it so much better now. I pulled down the dark brown curtains we bought so he could sleep days and work nights and replaced them with white sheers. I ditched the brown duvet cover and left the white duvet plain with the quilt my grandmother made at the foot of the bed. For some reason, there is a bizarre amount of pink in the room now (and I have never been a Barbie girl, trust me). But it also feels clean and different and mine.

The ex and I had plans for a logistics talk about bills and his move over dinner in public- all the better to keep us both from turning it into a cry fest. As I put it, I am so tired of crying and from crying that I might have passed out if we had to chat at the house. But then there were tornado warnings and the plan to walk to the little place down the street and sit outside got scrapped. We both sat there for a few minutes, and I felt another TALK coming on. And I just didn’t have it in me.

So, I grabbed my keys and the ex. And hit the movie theatre to see The Happening. Because, I wanted to be somewhere where we could just sit and not talk and not think about anything for a while. I wanted to be in the dark. I wanted buttered popcorn and a giant Diet Coke and noise that wasn’t coming from either one of us. It was probably a risky move. But it worked. By the time the movie was over, we could go home and sit and talk without all the nervous energy planning for a scheduled conversation appointment. We talked like grown-ups. And without tears (at least from me- he got a little misty and walked out of the room at one point).

And when it was all said and done, I went upstairs to my brand new bedroom with the clean sheets and the fan where I like it (and all that pink) and slept the sleep of the dead.



Filed under Daily Life, Links, Relationships

12 responses to “On Cougars, and Pink, and Film

  1. You know what…I did that too. When I left my wasband, my first “own” apartment, I went NUTS in the bathroom (painted it a deep deep red) and the bedroom…white sheets, fuchsia walls….like my gay friend said “Only a gay man will fuck you in here” ….LOL Sorry for the language.

    Happy to report that he was WRONG on that..but anyway. 🙂 Go girly!!! 🙂

  2. Luna

    I was really happy to read this post. It’s hard reclaiming your individuality after a break up (letting go of the “we” and embracing the “I”), but it’s so important and I think you’re off to a great start. Keep being strong.

  3. aww good for you sugar…im alll about rearranging and cleaning shit to move on… but then..im ocd..so dont listen to me….but …that sounds like a perfectly healthy weekend to me.. and …goooood for you!!!

  4. Thanks for visiting LG and by doing so, leading me to your stories. I’m visiting furtively at work but can’t wait till I have time to read backwards through them. I’m so sorry about the breakup and the reasons behind it, but thankfully you sound really, really strong.

  5. I read that book when I went through a bad break up a few years ago. Amazingly, it did help. Although that 60 day (or is it 90? I forget) rule of no speaking was a toughey. But a good move in the long run!

  6. ‘the ex and I aren’t doing public melodrama’

    good for you! seriously. when the Ex-Fiance and I split, I did my best to avoid all of ‘our places’ … until he appeared at the gay bar I had started frequenting to make out with many of my (male) friends and make his debut as a male stripper on amateur night. he claimed it was all to get me back? … anyway, I admire your honesty in this blog, especially during times like these. keep your chin up!

  7. creatist

    good god girl! am so proud of you! 🙂 *hugs*
    when such things happen, its best to change your surroundings a bit – not too much, but just so as to make it more comfy, your own…

    and i agree with Luna about reclaiming your own identity.. but you’ll do it… 🙂

    and thanks for coming to my blog ever now and then… i will start it again – though god knows when 😛

    all the best girl – and u know sth.. you can now smack in the middle of the bed!! 😉 take care

  8. I undertook an enormous cleaning project as part of my post-split recovery: I disinfected, cleaned, dusted, and reorganized every single part of the place . . . and reclaimed it all as my own.

  9. After my horrendous breakup when decorating my new bedroom I noticed that I used an odd amount of pink too and I’m definitely not a pinkish kind of girl either. Maybe its how we make a statement about our new freedom to decorate without a man’s tastes interfering.

    But Eleanor, the most important question of all you didn’t answer…

    How was the movie?

  10. letigreinfrance

    Changing everything in the house is a fabulous and practical way to start afresh…

  11. Changing the layout of the furniture, along with the blanket and window curtains = excellent move!

    Consider changing the towels in the bathroom too.

  12. Janine Falcon

    Well done. You remind me that changing our surroundings in a significant way can help us move forward. I needed that, actually.

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