Friday after work I met two of my best Meetup friends at Washington Square Mall for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory followed by shopping for "go out" clothes I could wear to speed dating and other events. I'm a very casual person and they think I dress "too old." In addition to needing new clothes, I wanted to go with someone who would force me to step out of my shell. Casual non-descript clothes are just one more thing I hide behind so I can stay neatly tucked away unnoticed on the sidelines of life. We had finished shopping and were walking down to Starbucks when my purse suddenly felt lighter. The strap had broken-probably from too much weight-and there was no way to fix it. I figured it was Labor Day weekend-I had three days to get a new one. I have a couple of small purses that hold the essentials for when I go out and don't want to lug around the "Mom" purse. I ended up just using one of those over the weekend and never made it out to get a new one.
In my last post, I mentioned an incident that took place on Saturday in which a member of one of my Meetup groups took it upon himself to text another member of the group, a good friend of mine, that I showed up to his Meetup with a date and made it clear I was not with the group. I felt this was very inappropriate. I'm not really sure what to do about this. He has been told I am not interested (more than once). I have been wondering if I need to say something to the organizer of the group (who was the one who told me about the crush in the first place) that he may be someone we have to keep in eye on before he develops crushes on other women in the group and drives them away; he's a nice guy when you meet him but he's very pushy and icky when you actually get to know him.
I was thinking about this yesterday at work and was stewing about what I felt to be a huge invasion of my privacy. I found myself picturing a conversation with the organizer in which I said that I am 36 years old, I am single and it has been 2 1/2 years since James died so I have certainly waited long enough by societies standards to test the waters again. That it has actually been almost 31 months and I was free to do what I wanted and it was no one's business and no one had a right to broadcast it.
And then I looked at the calendar. And I saw that it was the 7th. It wasn't "almost" 31 months. It was 31 months and 1 day. The 6th had come and gone. And I missed it. For the first time in 31 months, I was not aware of the day. It wasn't looming over me. It wasn't a reminder. It was just another day. And this felt good. It felt like a definite sign of healing, of moving forward, of being ready for what comes next. I practically felt giddy. I e-mailed a friend. I texted my two widower friends for validation this was a good thing. And then the guilt hit. How could I forget? Does this mean I don't love him enough? Logically, I realize this is a good thing. Today, I have mixed feelings which I will have to discuss with the therapist on Monday. I want to talk about him more than usual anyway-I can't really explain it, but I feel that he is one more thing I am somehow hiding behind. I wonder what he would think about me being completely unaware of the 6th?
Today at lunch, I had to go to Fred Meyer. I decided to get a new purse while I was there. I'm pretty disappointed the other one broke. I really liked it-it was practical, both brown and black so I didn't have to worry about switching it out. (Because that is so not me). And I liked the style. It was cloth with a leather bottom and a leather strap with a zippered main pocket and a zippered side pocket for easy access to the things I need the most and a back pocket to cram receipts and coupons into. I found it's "twin" on the shelf and then found it's "siblings"-same style just all leather instead of cloth. I really like the purse and thought maybe the leather version would be stronger than the cloth. So I picked up the sensible brown one and put it in the cart. And then I picked up the dark red one. I liked the dark red one. Really liked it. But it wasn't sensible-it won't "go" with most of my clothes (Heaven forbid). So I put it back and stepped away. I took three steps and said "Screw it." I put back the sensible brown purse and bought the totally bold and out of character for me red one.
Walking towards the cash register, I noticed the overhead music was "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer-our recessional song and the only song for our wedding we had picked out. I got into the car and when I started it, the song on the radio was Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2"-James' favorite song.
Driving back to work all I could think was that we're good and James approves of the red purse.