Getting Ready

Getting ready

The last time I went to see the actual man from whence the L.D. ensued, it wasn’t because I had to- like the other times[1]. This time I dressed up and went hoping to score.[2]

For whatever reason I am feeling better; witness my regained ability to focus and concentrate.  

Some will say time helped, but like an antibiotic that works right away when you’ve felt sick for weeks, it’s hard to be sure exactly what makes you better, the drug or the placebo!

The “antibiotics”, in my case, was I contacting him.   As I came to accept routine nuisance feeling of being loved on etc, I surrendered and acknowledged him “as if” he were real. I left[3]him short voice messages and sent him texts. 

He, the L.D., wasn’t’ bothering me[4]anymore- granted I was practicing how to “share”, tidbits of my day; I wasn’t squeaking in my messages[5]but speaking with a normal voice.

 I still had (have) protracted flushes of ecstasy[6]in my corpus- sensations of warmth and consciousness, like surges of dopamine which make me feel good, and remind me to better care for myself; this alternates with tears. (But it is the pandemic, so I’m giving myself some slack.) 

My kids naturally didn’t want to hear another word; but it was partially their idea (their friend’s anyway) – to dress up and go see him. My kids say that it is asking too much to expect him to answer me. That my torment should go unanswered. LOL.[7]

I thought, why not, “what do I have to lose” (really)? If he said, “no”, I’d leave and be done with it; if he said, “yes”, then we’d take it to the next level. For once I had clarity of what I wanted.

I wasn’t breaking any laws or endangering anyone, even if I was being (maybe) a nuisance[8].

Asking someone for what I want[9]seems like a big deal for me. So far that’s how the divorce had gone too- my ex- forcing me to declare my settlement wishes. He was very happy when I fired my lawyers but continued to play fair.

Mind you, before I got married, I was very relationship averse; I’ve wondered at times if I didn’t really hate people[10]. Also, I had “plans” and didn’t want to be stifled.

For example, I once had a nice chemistry teacher’s assistant when I was a freshman in college. I’d go after class and get clarifications, but at some point, he said I was “courting” him and kissed me. The idea was so distressing I never went back.  Courting someone. Yuck! That meant marriage, and nope!

It’s not like he (L.D. -the man) wouldn’t be in my demographic[11]for a good dating match- other than our age differences[12]. We have some things in common, or so it would seem with my interests in wellness and medicine- and he being an alternative practitioner. 

The Tarot supported me with ‘fear of failure’ card being an idea that repeatedly blocks me from taking emotional risks. The other cards were consistently supportive.

I decided it would be the following Monday-so I texted him I was coming – unless I ‘heard from him, he would see me’…and ’that I might start crying’.

In the meantime I got ready. Over the next three days I groomed, primped, and with the help of my ex[13],- picked out an outfit. I decided to have fun with the preparations. Whether I won, or lost, it would be an adventure in trying. I could assume there would be some version of success, some gold cultivated for me. Either way I wouldn’t worry about it, but enjoy the process.

Now normally, to get pretty for a special occasion, I’d go to the (Korean) spa[14]and get a good basic body scrub with honey and cucumber facial, then go to a nearby salon and get my hair done.  Just before an event, I’d finish off with manicure and pedicure- seeing as I can’t keep polish perfect for more than a few hours, my hands touch dirt too often. I’d do the latter, along with nearly full body waxing, just before vacations so I can wear bathing suit and sandals (many dancers have troll feet, I’m no exception). 

Those places, other than hair stylist, aren’t really options[15]for me with the pandemic, so I had to ‘make do’. 

I did start with getting my hair done[16]. This had been rescheduled from the previous Friday due to our Valentine’s Day snowstorm. 

Then, I took a couple of hours for the bath and preparations.

Dry brushing, an Ayurvedic practice now recommended by celebrities, felt invigorating. It softened much roughness on my knees, hips, and elbows. This was followed by all over massage with warm sesame oil. It felt quite nice to be reminded of my skin’s healthy boundaries[17]and then to soothe them. 

I sprayed the air with perfume three times and walked under the descending mist – creating my own cocoon of aromatherapy.

While waiting for the bath to fill, I toweled the oil off, then sat and did foot reflexology. With the water sounds in the background, my back started to loosen; my breathing deepened. I closed the door so my cats couldn’t visit and lit a small candle.

I took a nice long bath with relaxing crystals (salt), rose oil and lavender. I even shaved- that to some might be newsworthy! Ah, there are few pleasures more sublime than being immersed in warm water with a candle glowing.

Later, I called my ex- for dress color advice. I normally wear blue, but I told him I wanted to look my prettiest, so he said first, “do not wear gray” (my other favorite color), and to choose pink. (He loves being asked for his fashion sense, which is really quite meticulous.[18]) I had fun going through my closet(s) and trying on dresses.

On the appointed day, I took (on-line) ballet in the morning, did a final clearing and went for the visit.

I’m glad I did all that, even if I didn’t get my coat off before he started yelling. You may say, what a waste of time, sure maybe, but really what else should I be doing? At least I tried; I can’t say I didn’t.  And as they say, practice makes perfect!


[1]Over the last year, I’d experienced my emotional breakdown in the form of an intrusive phantasm, a cupid’s arrow, which seemingly possessed me, whenever and wherever. I thought my ‘voluntary’ life was over–without him that is, even though I don’t know him personally!

[2]Laugh now, yes, I failed. Touché- it was my first time ever to be turned down. I’m past childbearing age…but that doesn’t mean I’m dead.

[3]Communicating like a normal person- not as deranged as my first two letters which were more like ‘Ted Kaczynsky’s missives- intense and rambling.

[4]Although there was, and is, a steady persistence of gold tether surrounding and warming my heart’s inner sun from what seems like an external source. The gold tendrils did start from corners of my property to gently encircle my waist, (I’d laid down cornmeal and some intentions about protection), but then switched to come into my heart – and as if coming from him. Lol, some men want all the credit! (Get thee away from me.)

[5]It took me five years to actually be able to share, more than croaking, “Hi, I’m Jennifer” before saying anything personal in meetings! This has been an accelerated assertiveness program. 

[6]I am learning to internalize these sensations as my own – helping me to (fathom) believe I’ll be OK, with or without him; that I am safe in my spirit boat, which incidentally I note to be sturdier!

[7]They walked out on my birthday because I went to see him (the man)- that was after spending the preceding hour and a half chastising me about it. By their estimation, my behavior (motivated by overwhelming feelings) was ‘completely out-of-order’; that ‘he owed me nothing’- for my reaction to HIS words.  

Hmm, I wonder where else we’ve heard this? Where one can say whatever one wants, but then deny the consequences? Man’s world, man’s rules, right? These are my sons; it is their world they are witnessing.  

[8]To me a nuisance was my mother’s phone calls usually 2 or 3 a day, with hang-ups in between, to my father, and three of us siblings, that went on for years!

[9]My mother weaponized my expressed wishes and dreams. She’d use these as “goads” to manipulate me, using them as the carrot or the stick to change my behaviors.  These worked the first time, but then she’d fail to follow through with the promised reward. It was then lose-lose for me to tell her! I surrendered my will by complying, but then didn’t get the promise either! She knew I loved ballet class and would sometimes restrain me from going to it. Later I learned not to speak any wishes out loud, in case she or someone else might set out to block me or later humiliate me if I fell short.

[10]As projections of my failed self (?).

[11]Whether I’d look at him twice is another thing. To re-look, that is re-spect, he’d have to be interesting, which he otherwise wasn’t (for various reasons stemming from my fixed beliefs at the time). He had first interviewed me at length; I knew him only as client (the story of that encounter is “L.D. 0”, an essay currently in draft). 

Literally, respectis something that is earned; from being worthy because of one’s merits to another. Just cause you are breathing doesn’t mean I have to look at you twice- once I’ve acknowledged you. I don’t have to look at you AGAINunless I need or want to. 

Dignityis unconditional; applying to any relationship, like Robert’s Rules of Order

[12]Though, even if we were a match, Match.com and eHarmony have guidelines of what’s acceptable and likely to be most productive; from our ages, we’d be in separate databank silos.

[13]My ex- is a bit of a dandy with his preferences for extremely well fit pants, trim fit shirts, and statement ties. This may sound strange, but he’d been asked on more than one occasion, “If I dressed him” (like a doll, or something?)- No, his style is his own! He had frequently expressed opinions about my (conservative) dressing.

[14]This spa is a traditional Asian-style public bathing establishment with 6 pools of varying temperatures, sauna, steam, and hot rooms for sweating. Services are done in a shared room with others. There is little shishi. I once fell asleep in their public walk-through area it is so relaxing. The only sounds are from a loud waterfall.

[15]Why would I knowingly risk the possibility of death from Covid-19 for pretty feet and toenails? Features that are otherwise locked away 99% of the time? I’ll take a risk for things that matter.

[16]Being the first and only service I’ve indulged in since Covid-19 quarantine, it feels quite special to freshen and reduce the grey (I’ve had since I was 30). We both wear masks; she is immuno-compromised.

[17]I’ve been trying to do this more often as my “self-care” plan. 

[18]So here is a new role for my ex- whom I once told, ” wasn’t my friend” as “he was my (now ex-) husband, who hadn’t been friendly”. Once again, the universe didn’t hear the “not” part.

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