From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, I was in Sacramento, with my grandson. Jackie and her boyfriend had planned a getaway in Mendocino together and I volunteered to watch Xander for the weekend. Friday night, Xander and I had pizza. Saturday, we called up Shannon and we picked her up to go to a burger joint for lunch. Shannon bought. At five, we took Shannon to work and then picked her up again at nine thirty. Shannon and I spent most of the remainder of the evening after Xander went to bed playing a video game. We all stayed the night at Jackie's house and in the morning we went to IHOP for breakfast. Xander was very happy to have the attention of adults who were not his mother and Tony, for a change and we were happy to entertain him. After breakfast, we took Shannon back to her house and Xander and I returned to Jackie's house until his mother and Tony returned. After they got back, I stayed and talked to Jackie until around 3:30 in the afternoon and then I went back to Livermore.
On the drive back home, I started feeling really rotten, emotionally. I felt sad and lonely. I wondered if it were just that I was missing that sense of connection with my erstwhile not-quite-a-girlfriend, but it wasn't that, exactly. I was thinking about driving back to my house again, as I have before, on return trips from Sacramento, and contemplating the fact, once again, that it is empty. I started thinking about my marriage and my sense of attraction to certain women. I don't think I particularly become attracted to people for wrong or "bad" reasons. I was, though, feeling sorry for myself and got to wondering how I came to feel so strongly about two women who each, in her own way, decided eventually, that I was not right for her. Why am I not the one who has the mistake and wants out? About some things, I know pretty well what I want, even if I have to think about the why. I'm that way about women. When I like someone I know what I like. The thing is, what attracted me to these women who changed their minds? Why was I not a man who found himself changing his mind? Are there no women who know what they want, or what they like, and why for sure, or am I merely having problems in identifying them?
I thought of my house. It's a good house. It's a family kind of house, with three bedrooms, a nice living room with a hearth. I've been the kind of man who wanted to be a husband and father. I've held down a good job for years. I worked to keep a nice sturdy roof over the heads of the people I loved, to keep food on our table, provide entertainment, education for my daughters and my wife too. I was there for them and with them. I was involved. What happened? If I chose poorly, what was wrong with my criteria? If the women on my mind this evening chose poorly, what was wrong with me and them? In each case, is was not me who got tired of my partner and went looking for something else, or decided that I had made a mistake. In each case, I thought I was involved in a really good deal with a woman I valued. Why was the partnership enough for me, but not for them? Where is a woman who could look at what I offer and be thrilled with the deal, or at least stay thrilled with the deal? I think I'm a pretty decent guy. My nice house feels like a waste of resources, and indeed, it kind of is. The place has a lot more to offer other people, a family with kids, for example, hell, even a couple. It made me feel rather wasted. I felt hollow in the chest. What? Weeping, in the car? Oh come on, my timing is lousy. Well, there won't be any experiencing that while driving down the highway. My front windows are not tinted and I did not intend to look like an idiot having a breakdown, so I put a lid on it and drove home with eyes threatening to spill and the rest of me bent on keeping it together. Things were somewhat better after I got home. I got my laundry together and went to the laundromat to do my weekly laundry.
I'm not really sure where that came from. All of this self-help stuff would call it an opportunity, I suppose. Sometimes, it has been difficult for me to call this stuff up and latch onto it. I just don't know what I'm supposed to DO with it, or about it. Reading that site of Gerlach's is so slow and it takes time to read the stuff, play the videos and do some of the exercises. I still haven't gotten back to that one from the last entry. Supposedly, feeling things can be useful. I haven't yet read far enough to figure out how. I just felt very blue. Does it matter? So, I guess I'm awake now. That's what I wanted. I got that. Now I'm lonely. I'm not sure what I should be doing about that, other than waiting for another month and a half of "austerity."
Tomorrow is another "team-building exercise day" at work. It's not a day of getting things and useful work done, and it is not a day to myself. The thing involves the software people taking the ferry from Alameda to San Francisco. It's the weirdest excuse for team-building I have heard. There are three different options: a maritime museum, the San Francisco Aquarium, or a sight-seeing hike to Coit Tower. I picked the aquarium. I don't know who else picked what, but after dividing the group up like that, I can't imagine any of the "teams" will be very large. Whatever. I'll get a ferry ride, a nice lunch, and an afternoon at the San Francisco Aquarium out of the deal, with decent enough company.