Saturday, December 06, 2008

Didn't see it coming

A few weeks ago on Facebook, I friended a guy, Kalev, whom I knew very slightly in high school. Couple years younger than I am, kind of dweeby and annoying, but nice enough. I saw him a few years ago, now even chubbier and balding to boot, with his attractive wife. And I wondered, "Why is this guy happily married when I'm not?"

Kalev started commenting on my status updates and sending me emails about his kids, and I thought nothing of it. Until he sent a note saying that he was packing up and moving.

I hope you and your family are very happy in your new home!

I wrote. He responded:

Sadly, it is just me who is moving tomorrow. My wife and I are getting divorced and while I will still be seeing my kids rather often, they will be living with her. Still, I will only be living about 15 minutes away from them, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Ouch.

I'm so sorry to hear that. My sister's getting a divorce too, I know how painful that is. I'm glad you'll be close to your kids.

I guess that's about all there is to say, right?

Wrong. After a longish IM chat on Thanksgiving evening (kids in bed, Jerusha watching TV, Aunt Ayelet on the computer), Kalev emailed me:

Thank you SO much for the chat!!! It was really great to chat with you, I haven't communicated that freely (in any medium) on a personal, non-pre-school, level in quite some time. I feel better, notwithstanding all the "crap" going on in my life right now.

Honestly, I can't remember what we talked about, but I'm a trained good listener, even electronically. I decided to be polite:

Glad it was as good for you as it was for me ;) Seriously, these are stressful times, and for your personal life to deconstruct in the middle of them is really unfortunate. I'm glad you feel a little better. I'm having an okay time -- still don't get along that well with my sister, but we're making an effort for the sake of the kids. I think I caught a cold, but otherwise I'm fine.

That Sunday was rainy, and he was moving, but he wrote me:

I am still packing and cleaning, so while I have had Facebook open all morning, I have been on and off the chair. I am dreading going back and forth to the car in this rain with boxes and bags.

FYI, my personal life deconstructed about 1-2 years ago, I stuck it out because of the kids, I'm glad that I did, but I feel soooooo much better now (except for the kids part), now that the marriage is going to be officially over, G-d willing

I wrote back:

I don't envy you moving on a day like this. I'm glad you feel better about your life, though. Change can be painful but sometimes it's the best thing. My brother-in-law just came to pick up my nephew and I caught a little fight between him and my sister. It's hard to imagine how so much love can devolve into something so hateful.

I hope your move is uneventful. Be well.

I'm just being a supportive friend. That's all he wants. Right?

Wrong.

I'm sorry that you caught the middle of a domestic dispute/fight, they are not pleasant, especially for the children. Sadly, it's not so unusual.

I was wondering if you would be interested in going out for coffee sometime? We are scheduled for me to give my wife her Get tomorrow, so sometime after that.

Sorry if I'm being too forward, but I'm "new" at this. ;)

Well, I'm going to pack some more now.

Oy. How do I get out of this????? I didn't respond for more than a day, so he wrote again:

I hope that you are feeling better from your cold and that it didn't keep you out of work.

Now that it's official (the Get, that is), would you do me the honor of meeting me for coffee sometime (in the near future).

I look forward to hearing from you and feel better!

Okay, I have to say something. But I don't want to hurt his feelings.

If it's not one thing, it's another ;) The cold isn't that bad, so I'm managing.

I'm very flattered that you would ask me to meet you for coffee, but I have a strict policy about not dating guys until they've been divorced for at least a year. Just been burned too many times. Sorry.

Which is true enough. I've been let down by at least 4 recently divorced men. I'm tired of being the dating guinea pig. I have a feeling Kalev is more decent than the rest of them, but it's a good excuse. And he bought it:

Thanks for the honesty, I appreciate it. I could've been divorced a year ago...but that would've been one year less of living with my kids full time. I respect your policy, very sound.

Still waiting to hear from Yeziz, for the record. I have a feeling he's going to bail on me like his brother did.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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