Mar 29 (Sun): Hike with “Joe” and his mom “bring a flashlight or headlamp” + dinner at his dad’s house afterward 9:30a @hike
Indian Paintbrush! (one of my favorite wild flowers)
Today. You wouldn’t believe today. Talk about a fuck-up. I mean, which of you couldn’t have guessed upon seeing one sentence above: that “Peter” stayed the night, and then the next day’s plans, with “Joe” and his mom, and NOT seen a major fuck-up coming?
I didn’t have this one planned out in the slightest, obviously. Well, “Peter” and I had a lovely morning. He knew I was about to be picked up for a walk. We quickly got up and showered and got ready for the day. I hurried and made eggs (another miracle, if you knew how much I DON’T COOK) and he found some leftover bread and other snacks from the night before and we had a lovely breakfast. Then it came time to part ways with him headed to the train station and me escorting him to the end of the driveway, and “Joe” had walked down from his mom’s parking spot already and so they actually met. That was not expected for any of us three and I don’t think anyone had the slightest fucking clue as to what to say. I announced each other’s names, and gave no other introductions, seeing as they both knew of the other. I was pretty wracked with guilt. Guilt because I hadn’t told “Joe” that I had a morning guest (I decided that’s not really anybody’s business, right?). Guilt because I then couldn’t remember if I’d been clear WHICH friend was picking me up for the hike this morning, to “Peter” (although in hindsight, I do think I had said so. But I can’t be 100% sure).
Regadless, awkward. Nightmare for me. Both of them said it was fine, separately. I’m wracked with guilt and apprehension but they both said they’re fine and are fine with meeting each other. Like I’ve previously said, they’ve both indicated to me that they’d be willing to go on hikes with each other. It’s me who’s scared about that. Worried that “Joe” wouldn’t actually be able to handle it deep down. Ever since he triggered me that one day, reminding me of my ex, I have treated him as such: fragile; non-resilient; must be protected. It’s unfair of me and a sick dynamic. Things will get figured out, don’t worry. If I can’t remain friends with him, then I can’t. But until then, I’m going to try, because I feel that he and I can make really good long-term friends. (Ranking this mood period as a 5. I was guilty but didn’t make myself intestinally ill from anxious or ruined the entire day completely or anything. Just guilty and concerned. Now I’m somewhat obsessively worrying, but you’ll learn the reason why as I keep typing more.)
But regardless and beside all this crud, the day was great for me. Worrying over “Peter” aside, the hike that I went on with “Joe” and his mom was really lovely. We took it nice and slow. It wasn’t about racing to the destination; it was about sighting the different birds. It was about photographing the various butterflies and moths, and different plants and trying to locate them on the brochure. It was about identifying different trees. It was about spotting all of the lizards we could find and “Joe” even spotted an awesome caterpillar! I spotted a snake. “Joe” and I went through a cave (I’d remembered my headlamp!). It was a very lovely walk and I took many photographs. One in particular, I think came out well (judging from the camera’s display screen). It’s a photo of a lizard. Update: here is the picture.
Oh! And I also brushed into Poison Oak for the first time in my life! It’s funny because I finally memorized what the plant looked like, on this very trip. Then, I came out of the cave all excited and brushed right against a Poison Oak plant. Part of me was a bit excited — this is an experience I’ve never had. I know it must sound strange to WANT to experience a reaction to poison oak, but I want to experience most things in life at least once. Interestingly, I got no reaction from it. I was careful not to rub it or touch it or anything. When we returned to the visitors center, I asked what I should do. They told me to quickly rinse with detergent (hand soap is all that was available to me) and then rinse with cold water for a solid 2 minutes. Then to make sure I immediately wash my shirt in cold water and detergent when I get home. They said this would be quite effective at preventing a reaction if done within an hour of contact; it was well after an hour by the time I washed, but I never did react. I must not have gotten its oils on me when I brushed against the plant?
I’m still ill but feeling better. It’s back to a gross cough and a mild sore throat. I was EXHAUSTED after dinner, but actually had plenty of energy for the hike. That’s a huge contrast to yesterday, where I got tired just taking the garbage outside.
After the hike, as was planned, “Joe” and I ate dinner that his father made for us. It was really good and afterward, I felt SO exhausted. We drank tea and all three chatted for a while, mostly about Astronomy (his dad is a Cosmologist). And then I asked to be driven back home so that I could get ready for bed, since I’m sick and so wiped out.
Of course, I’m not sleeping, am I. No. I came home and my uncle was quite upset that I’d spent the day with “Joe” and not “Peter”!!! He cannot believe I made that choice and thinks it was the wrong choice! He chastised me; why would I spend all day with another guy if I am dating “Peter”? He seemed upset. Then I texted with my mom for at least 30 minutes, although she was trying to just say goodnight because she was exhausted. But I just HAD to chat with her for a bit. She loved the sound of the hike, at least. But apparently my uncle must have told my brother about my choice today, because my brother had told my mom! She said they are worried that I’m going to blow it with “Peter” because I spent the whole day with “Joe”.
First of all, did I ever write on here that I got lectured for making the announcement to a handful of family that I was now exclusively dating “Peter”??? My uncle was upset. He was so worried that I’d get attached to “Peter” and then hurt and then end up like I was after my divorce. So he DISCOURAGED me from exclusive dating, and was upset that I’d announced it like “Peter” and I were an item until we’d exclusively dated for at least a month and see if he’s actually a jerk or something.
Rewind even MORE!!! When I had gone on a date with a 3rd person, “Bob”, he was all over me about isn’t this enough people already, what am I doing, etc etc.
Basically, I gather he is not happy with something I’m doing but it’s coming out in this dating thing.
Also, I gather that both my uncle AND my brother really liked “Peter”! Because they’re both scared shitless that I’m going to blow it with him!!! Hilarious world this is, really. If I’m sleeping in, it’s bad. If I’m watching Star Trek with “Joe”, it’s bad. If I date multiple people, it’s bad. If I announce that I’m dating one person exclusively, it’s bad (the announcement part). If I then spend a day with another guy (just as a friend), it’s bad. Assumedly because they like “Peter” now that they’ve met him.
Well, I’m a pretty sensitive/emotions-type person and frankly I AM now extremely worried that this will blow things with “Peter”. I did already email him to explain my reasons for the choices I made. Look. Frankly. If he can’t accept the way I think and the way I come to decisions, what good is he for me anyway?!?! I’m never going to fit in to the “norm” decision making process of my uncle and brother. It’s not going to happen. I can’t predict the way they make decisions, just as they can’t FATHOM so many of my own decisions.
Butterfly (Painted Lady)
I believe that “Peter” believes in independence and friends, be them male or female. I think he’s strong and resilient but if this day will end things between us, then it ends things between us. “Joe” and I had these plans already made and “Joe” has been expressing his excitement about this hike to me for a long time. If I was too sick to go, that’s one thing. But if I SUDDENLY learned that “Peter” was available and decided to spend the day with him and back out on “Joe” like that? Doesn’t that seem like it lacks integrity? Would I want to be with a person who would have made that choice?!?! Fuck no! I don’t think you drop someone just because you suddenly have a boyfriend and this boyfriend is suddenly free one day and happens to have stayed the night the night before. Priorities? I don’t know for sure what’s right and wrong, but I chose “Joe” who has stayed by me for a lot of my shit over the past months (I was even texting with him back around the time of my grandpa’s funeral, and had gotten to talk with him all about the meltdown I’d had there with my dad, my brother and my brother’s gf present). “Joe” has stayed by me through the extreme mood swings I went through right off of the Wellbutrin. “Joe” is staying by me even when I told him I was no longer dating him and then later figured out with “Peter” that “Peter” and I are exclusive, and “Joe” is STILL on my side and my friend.
So what am I thinking? He’s my friend. I care about his wellbeing, too. Of COURSE I shouldn’t have cancelled on him on a whim. What the hell are my uncle and brother thinking?! (And besides, it was beautiful there and I saw and learned a lot. Worth it.) TODAY’S MOOD RANKING: 5-7