The Thinking Other Woman

What you should know BEFORE your affair.


End, Windup, Finish.

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on January 23, 2023 at 9:05 PM

I have a comfy green couch that's destined for the scrap heap in just a week or two. 

I'm very sad about that, not only because I love the color, but because of the significance of this couch and how and why I originally bought it. I've had it almost exactly eight years.

Shortly after I and the person this website is about first said "I love you," eight years ago tonight, and started to talk about planning a life together after he left his wife, I realized my old couch was completely unsuitable. I had always treasured the times I used to spend with my late husband, cuddled up, watching movies, planning stories and talking about writing, and I felt so bad for this new guy when he told me his wife wouldn't even cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie anymore.

Right then I decided I would take all those old times my late husband and I had enjoyed and gift them to him, together with whatever else he might want to do cuddled up in front of the TV. And I saw that my elderly, beat up old couch wouldn't do. I also thought that what my late husband and I had, a mattress on the floor in front of the TV, might not appear acceptable, so I ... held my breath and made a major furniture purchase on my own, something I was always afraid to do because I never felt like I had the money to buy brand new funiture. But a fold-out couch would be just the thing to cuddle on, plus it would be needed when my cousin from Florida came to visit me and my two handicapped elderly relatives I had taken guardianship of. So, I bought it.

It was a great couch--soft fake suede, pine green, with huge soft pillows and great cushions. Its replacement is a sofa chaise in the same line; I will have no more need for a pull-out couch. I'm sad because they don't make the green anymore. But my female cat had a bladder infection and when it's humid, you can still smell cat pee no matter what I do; then she ripped a big hole in the side. The cushions are deflated and worn out. It's time.

And so, nearly eight years to the day after I purchased that couch with such grand hopes ... it will be gone, along with any hope of the guy I bought it for.

Everything around here says End, Windup, Finish.

Boy, what a sad ending for such high hopes and fantastic dreams. I remember the state I was in at exactly this time eight years ago. I was such a wreck. I knew I was going to hear from him, and I knew it was going to be good news or horrible news. Were my feelings really returned? Because it sure looked as if they were.

Either it would be a horrible, crushing, humiliating, embarrassing blow ... or it would be the doorway to what I imagined would be a wonderful new tomorrow.

Now, eight years on, I've read so damned many of these stories from other people that it's obvious from this vantage point: I should have known. I should never have even bothered.

It's never the real thing. Not when they're married.

Rare is the married man who can actually leave his wife. When one does, he literally is one in a million.

God, how foolish we were, meeting online once a month and dreaming of a future that would never, ever be. What idiots.

As of this writing, I think he's made a New Year's resolution never to come back here, and it looks like he's keeping it.

It's a good thing, because a relationship that will never happen needs to finally just disappear, like puffs of dandelion on the wind, and stop torturing the people who are never going to actually do it.

As I wrote here last April, what's the point? I guess if two people made such an impression on one another that they went on for eight years, keeping tabs on one another, never forgetting one another, something must have been right.

I remember the love through the mist of time. It looked like we were right for one another. It looked like it could have worked.

Eight years ago tonight. God, was I a wreck. And when I got that message, "I love you," I was so happy. I was transported.

But ... eight years is a long time. And relationships, ultimately, need to actually happen, or they die. 

We tried. We hung on as long as we could. Each year, at this time, I'd go to where we met on Facebook and leave a heart on my profile there. And on Valentine's Day, and on his birthday. Five years ago when I did that on his birthday, he messaged me and we had one last conversation. 

I didn't know it was the last. With what he was telling me then, surely anyone with two grains of sense to rub together would fucking file for divorce. Whether they had anyone waiting for them or not!

Tonight, eight full years later, my whole life is dead. Absolutely everything from that time and all the times before it, what I thought my life was about, what I believed my destiny was, who I thought I was and what I believed I'd do with my life, and all the people in it ... gone.

Gone, g-g-gone, gone, GONE.

I'm going to be in the job I have for the rest of my life. There will be no triumphant change of career. I'm going to get up and go to work every day until something happens to my health, and then it will be Medicare, Medicaid, and the nursing home, and the grave after that. I don't see much here to look forward to.

I am no fiction writer. That dream is dead and gone. I don't go to writer's groups anymore. I don't know who I was, pretending I knew anything.

I remember how happy I was there, years and years ago. I thought I'd found my true calling. It just felt so good to finally be in the "in" group, and have people who accepted me and thought I was all right. I hadn't had that since I was seven. I remember meeting my husband there, and this guy. Life seemed so full of promise then. I never thought I'd ever, ever, end up bowing my head and quitting in utter defeat. But clearly, a writing life is not for me.

I finished Level One NCGR's tonight. I treated myself out to a steak dinner, and here I am now, sitting in a hotel room finishing a cocktail. The reason: I live in a DUMP. The power has been out an ENTIRE MONTH in several rooms in each apartment in our building, and I haven't had a working kitchen or laundry in a month. The same thing happened last summer over a plumbing problem. Out of the past six months, I haven't had a working kitchen for four of them, and I've been surviving on whatever junk I can get delivered.

I look like shit. I feel like shit. I am now old. I am an old woman.

I don't know if I will continue with astrology or not. I envisioned myself writing books, not hanging out a shingle and reading 200 charts a year, and there is a LOT to this. I have to do a LOT of work if I'm even going to pass Level Ones. Not only that, it's expensive. And the crisis in my life astrology was meant to illuminate is over now, anyway.

One thing that's said about the astrological yod is that, at some point in the life, a complete metamorphosis will occur, and the last half of the life looks nothing like the first half.

I used to think that was good. I used to think that meant that finally, at long last, one day, I would get somewhere writing and become a successful working author. Someone people knew.

I never believed the metamorphosis I was headed for was that one day I would give up my entire identity and all the childish dreams I had for my life, and every last bedrock I ever lived my life on would be gone.

Karen Horney's "Search for Glory" would end in the failure of all dreams. All my goals of writing were about was a sad, rejected little child's search for something, anything, that would finally make people like her. And the quest to rescue emotionally sick people the way I couldn't rescue my mother? Gone, doomed to failure. This guy will never change. He's as sick as she was.

All my hopes of one day fitting in, being part of a real family someplace, having actual close loved ones who belonged to me and I belonged to them--nope. I will be alone for the rest of my life.

Thank god I'm not terrified or crying over it anymore.

All my hopes of having a nice place to live? Forget that. This year has been quite the education in just what the place I can't afford to ever move out of has come down to.

So, you could say tonight that my yod has come true. My entire life has been swept away like this affair, and nothing of it is left anymore. Not even me.

I'm a completely different person now. One who knows that expecting anything other than what I've got is a losing proposition. One who knows she will spend the rest of her life in a dump alone.

One who knows she isn't anything special. Just a dumpy little old fat woman.

But, I've also matured into someone who doesn't need anybody to save her from it. Someone who doesn't need to dream up a fantastical, magical escape that will shine like Vegas.

She knows that isn't real. She knows that isn't for her.

She knows she is just ordinary. An ordinary, stupid little old pudgy fat woman who will live a very unremarkable life and die an ordinary death. She also knows it doesn't matter. When we get where we're going, we won't care.

I think my real dream, all those years ago? Was to do nothing. I remember hating, as a little kid, all the homework I was piled and piled and piled up with. Grades! Grades! Grades! Achieve, achieve, achieve! For what? Here I still am.

I have achieved all I am going to.

It's ALL downhill from here.

I know better, now, than to ever again dream up some silly fantastical scenario and tell myself that will be me. I know better than to dream up a relationship that will make me feel all the ways I needed parents and peer groups to help me feel as a child and plan that it will be real.

I cannot pick out anything and have it work. So, I'm done trying to find things that I think will make me happy and struggling for thirty (or, in this case, eight) years to make them come true. The very act of me wanting anything renders it impossible in the exact, living instant I think it will solve some problem for me. I have no control over anything and I was never in a life I could direct.

Life was always going to happen to me, and I was always going to accept whatever it decided to do. Life was always going to pound and pound and pound and pound me down until it broke me. Until I had no other choice.

So, here I am. Life's done its worst, and I'm still here. I'm done trying to dictate what I want. All I'm doing from here on out is what's in front of me, that I have to do, and that's it.

I keep seeing all these silly tarot readings that say, "Oh, you're so attractive now! Life is going to turn around for you, it's just going to be wonderful!! You're going to get back something you lost, and there will be some wonderful turn in your career."


I'll believe that when I see it.

Hasn't happened yet.

My yod's come true in that I've stopped fighting for things. Tomorrow is going to look just like yesterday from now on until my health fails.

All I'm going to do from here on out is keep on living until I die.

And stop fucking expecting so much.

No more hearts on Facebook.

Not tonight.


Categories: Post-Mortem, Now That It's All Over