Monday, March 31, 2008


This day is over!

And, boy, am I glad! It has been an odd one. I've felt like crying all day long.

Then, at dinner time......I got a colossal migraine headache. I believe this was my problem...brewing the past couple of days.

No, I'm not just one of those people who get a run-of-the-mill headache, and because it hurts, it's called a migraine. I've actually been diagnosed by a neurologist as having migraines.

It has been a few years since I've had one of this magnitude. Arcs of blue lights.....incredible pain.......exacerbated by noise......bright light......the works. As a matter of fact, the light from the computer screen bothers me and makes me have to squint!

This is the first one I've suffered when I've been totally alone....and it's a bit scary.

In times gone by, I've had family present who sort of stood watch over me.

Not tonight....

I'm alone, with my dog of course.

I've taken some meds...and laid quietly in my rec room on the couch.....eyes silence.... The only audible sound was that of my dog snoring next to me on the chair.

My meds are kicking in....the pain is lessening a degree......and already I can tell that whatever that mood was that I've had for two full days has passed.


Mid-Day Update

I'm still feeling out of sorts.

I spent a couple of hours doing errands and hoping that wandering through some stores and going for a walk would clear my mind and help me to feel better, but it didn't work. I'm still the "sad creature" that I was earlier today and yesterday afternoon.

I hate periods like this. It feels like I'm lost in a deep, dark wildnerness that I'm never going to recover from. Those familiar weeds of loneliness and self loathing are flourishing. In some ways it would be so easier if I were a straight divorced man.

But I'm not!

So I need to cope.

As I've done a million times before.

This is just another day.

Why Bother?

It's another cold and gloomy day here in the Washington, DC metro area. I've been trying to get caught up on some stuff here around the house -- I'm off today.

My mood is still in the pits. I did sleep well. My dog has been excellent company. But nothing has happened to improve my spirits.

I haven't been this blue in months. So I guess this serves as the ultimate reality check. I guess we can't be happy and excited all the time.

No one has called me, other than the president of my homeowners association to do some stuff for her. I'm having lunch with a friend at a nearby Wendy's in a little while.

I find myself wanting to go back to bed and covering up from head to toe. Why bother to get up? Why bother to do anything?

The pity party continues.....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Late Sunday Night

It's late on Sunday night and I am in a deep, dark place.

Where did all this come from? Why am I like this?

Is it a biological/chemical thing that my body is going through? Is it the weather? Is it because I'm outted now to Mr. Bodybuilder? Is it because I have such a BIG crush on the mystery man at church and down deep I know it cannot develop into anything because he is partnered?

I hate this.

After I got in so late this evening from my friend's house and seeing his beautiful granddaughter, I found that emotionallly I was quite drained. I just curled up in my rec room with my dog and watched two gay themed movies on the LOGO TV network. Both were romantic comedies involving gay couples.

It lifted my spirits.

Then I watched an old aircraft carrier get sunk as an artificial reef on the Discovery Channel.

It doesn't take much to amuse me.

Perhaps my problem is that I'm just throwing myself one gigantic pity party. I'm feeling old. I'm feeling fat. I'm feeling undesireable. I'm feeling quite alone.

Do you suppose that this is as good as it will get for me as I grow older?

Sobering Thoughts

I feel all out of sorts today.

This morning as I went to church, I just felt so alone. I got to church early....and as luck would have it, the hunky guy that I have the crush on was getting out of his car too -- alone.

He smiled and waved.

I smiled and waved back.

As we approached each other.....he threw open his arms.......and I met hime with a big bear hug. He addressed me by name....(He knows my name at least!).....and as we embraced....he held me for just a little longer than a normal hetero-gay hug of two seconds.

Just then, as things seemed to get interesting, his cell phone rang. Something urgent had popped up....and he had to leave -- long before church started. I felt sad...that at least I couldn't sit and at least admire him during the service...discreetly.

I turned to open the front door of the church. He saw me....and ran up and gave me another hug! He told me that he'd like to go to dinner sometime. I told him that I would like that too.

I allowed my hand to linger on his left shoulder....and I gave it a gentle squeeze.

Was that too brazen?

With that he ran to his car and was gone! He turned once more and smiled.

I smiled back.

Church was good. I still felt a bit odd. After lunch I went to visit with a close friend and to meet his new grand daughter. Oh goodness....I'm now at the stage where contemporaries are now grandparents.

Then, as I drove home from his house....I heard from my daughter in Nashville. Mr. Bodybuilder has now told her that he is "in love with her." They are spending much more time together. Things are heating up.

It's only a matter of time before the proposal comes. Another sign that I'm getting older.

Then the clincher. She has outted me to him.... She says "it's okay."

But, I find that the disclosure of the gay thing to someone who may be another part of my family has hit me Especially today when I was feeling odd to begin with.

Oddly, I feel tremendous sadness.



I went to one of my support groups on Friday evening.

GAMMA is the Gay and Married Men's Support Group here in the Washington, D.C. area that meets twice a month in a church in downtown. It's one of those groups that you can be a part of and then as your circumstances change, you can still keep contact with and be just as active as you want to be.

I've been a member of this organization for over 20 years and through that time I've made lots of friends -- men, who like me, were caught up in straight marriages and who were also struggling with the gay issue. I've served as facillitator on many occasions. It's a great group.

This past week, we discussed the topic of being authentic, having closed-loop relationships, the energy it takes to maintain two primary relationships, and just the overall struggle of living a gay life.

All this weekend I've reflected on the meeting.

I've also thought about the gay thing. What does it actually mean to be gay?

For me, it means that I have the innate ability to love another member of my gender completely....unreservedly....passionately.....emotionally...

Most folks like to emphasize the sexual aspect of it.

Well, surely that's a part of it. I mean, I can envision being intimate with a guy and not have my stomach turn because of it. I'm not repelled by the thought of it.

To me, this is as natural as breathing.....or sipping soda through a straw.

Being gay is as much a part of me and as "normal" as walking....or learning to talk -- you don't remember the date and time you began doing those's something you began doing unconconsciously and now it is a part of who you are. It's part of the fiber of growing.

The only difference between these things and being gay is that society never said that walking was abnormal. Learning to talk did not generate snide comments or rude stares.....or get you bashed. Sipping soda through a straw does not earn you the honor of having a James Dobson or a Pat Robertson throwing the Bible at you....or hurl insults at you and blame you for the decline of western civilization.

No, you're just left to breath, to walk, to talk and to sip your soda through a straw. No one cares....these are all acceptable behaviors.

So, when will it become acceptable behavior for me to be able to love another man?

Why do people equate that behavior with weakness or being accused of being "less than a man?"

How does loving someone.....ANYONE.......make you evil? Sinful? Worthy of death?

I don't get it.

I don't want to get it.

I just long for the day that a special man comes into my life. Someone who will love me with everything he has.....and who will treat me as his number one priority. A man that is not afraid to commit and be monogamous. Someone that will be there for me.

I, in return, want someone to love with everything I have....that I can treat as my number one priority. I am not afraid of the words commitment and be monogamy.... I am not afraid to be there for another guy....for the long haul.

It's sad....but I'm beginning to wonder if another such a man exists. Being gay is difficult enough,,,with all of society's perceptions and expectations it hurls at us. Coupled with the visciousness and deception that lies in the gay world.....and the lack of established boundaries, well, it makes a boring, average guy like me wonder.

Bear with me.....I'm a bit misty today......and full of longing.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Quick Note to My Readers

Take a quick look at the blogs I have linked to. I've removed two dead links and linked to two new blogs that have somehow found me! I've checked them out and they are worth checking out. They are: "I'm Gay. I'm Christian. Deal with it." and "My Hetero Gay Life." Check 'em out!

I'll be back shortly.

Thanks for your continued support and words of encouragement.

It's nice to know that I'm still helping people.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The REAL Me: Warts and All

I have said many times here that the purpose of this blog is for me to put down my thoughts...pure and unvarnished. Not edited or airbrushed to make me look my best.

I'm gay.

I'm divorced.

I've had issues.

AND, I still have more issues to deal with than TIME magazine!

So, I'm struggling at the moment with a trivial issue.

Here goes:

I'm working on throwing myself a smashing 50th Birthday Party! The date is May 3rd (my birthday is actually May 1st). I'm gonna have an open house beginning at noon and lasting until 5:00.

So far the guest list will total nearly 100 people -- gay and straight. It's going to be a rather symbolic affair for me. It's the official kickoff of my brand new and happy life. It's the beginning of the second half of my life. It's also the start of more fun in my life. I will be surrounded by some old friends who have stuck by my side during my awful period. I'll have a host of friends from my office. I'll have my "gang" from church.

It's going to be quite an affair.

It will be at MY house. MY house will look like a million bucks because I'm going to work my hardest between now and then to have everything clean and organized.

A couple of my children may be there.

My parents are coming. Maybe more of my relatives will show too.

So, what's the "issue"?

Last September on our way down to see the Marine off to Iraq, Lovey made a point of saying that this is going to be the year of my 50th Birthday. "If you have something," she said, "I hope you'll remember to include me."

Now, this is the woman who threw quite a bash for herself on her 50th. She wrestled control of it from me....(we were still married then). She issued invitations that read more like an obitiuary. She didn't acknowledge my 49th in any way, shape or form.

But she said she wants to be invited to my 50th.

As an after thought, she said: "Darn, that week I'll be out of town for General Conference so I won't be able to come."

Last week she said that her plans had changed and that she wasn't going to the General Conference after all, "So, I'll be around," she announced.

Hint. Hint.

The issue really is, do I want her there?

Each of the kids don't think I should.

If I don't I'll never hear the end of it.

Down deep....there is a part of me that wants her there.....just to let her know that I've got a good life now. I have friends. I have a beautiful home. I'm okay and I've settled nicely.

There is life after LOVEY!

For once, I'd like to rub her nose in it.

Isn't that awful?

I told you that this blog is unvarnished and you're seeing the evil Frank at work.

What to do?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Beautiful Day to Count All My Blessings

It's a beautiful spring day here in the nation's capital.

The Cherry Trees are beginning to blossom. The sun is shining. Puffy white clouds are gently floating by.

It's lunchtime.

I've had a busy day.

But I'm not too busy to pause and to count my blessings.

So many people have not understood why I've been going through so much angst as a result of the breakup of my marriage. They see me as being a gay person who is finally able to experience the joy of being ME and being true to myself. They think that I should just suck it up and move on.

"Get over it," they say.

But it has been so very hard.

I'm a bit slow sometimes in processing major events. Especially big and bad major events.

Divorce is one of these.

I've had to deal with insecurities that were exposed as my life has been totally plucked up by the rootss. I've been overwhelmed by decisions -- major decisions about how to live my life -- about my house -- about my job -- about my children -- about my health.

All of this has been so very overwhelming.

I've been affected to the core of my very being.

The pain, at times, has been almost intolerable. There wasn't a pill I could take to lessen it or to make it go away. I couldn't avoid it. I couldn't pretend it didn't exist.

I didn't have the strength to "suck it up" or to "get a grip."

Those familiar feelings of failure nearly strangled the life out of me. Oh my life was so empty!

I felt suffocated with loneliness.

It's been nearly three years of gloom and doom.

Somehow I kept making steps. Giant steps some days -- baby steps others. Overall, I kept moving forward.

One day though, things changed. I don't know the date. I don't know the time.

I turned, and suddenly life didn't look so gray. The pain was gone. Poof! The insecurities vanished. The Old Frank began resurfacing in the neatest ways. Decisions came easier.

I suddenly realized that I've survived. I didn't just survive, I survived well.

I have my home. I have my dog. I have things that make me happy. I've made good, kind, and dear friends who love me.

Most of all, each passing day takes me further and further from those painful days of separation and of divorce....of harsh words....of sadness....and of loneliness and of worrying about my being gay.

I'm developing a good life. One that has healed.

Oh, there are scars. But I believe they will fade eventually. They've already begun to do so.

Yes, I'm counting my blessings -- there are so many.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March 25, 1966

Forty-two years ago today, I experienced death in a very personal way.

Five months before then, my StepGrandfather Maynard died. He didn’t really count because he wasn’t truly a part of my life. I only saw him occasionally and the week before his death he had yelled at me for something really silly. At the tender age of 7, it hurt my feelings, and he never had a chance to make amends.

He was old and cranky.

I was young and fully of life.

There was a clash.

Naturally so.

One year before that, my Great Aunt Della died. The year was 1964. She was a gentle loving soul. My memories of her are just as fleeting as those of my step grandfather. The last time I saw her was through the back window of our beige Ford Fairlane – waving and smiling. Still, for those pleasant memories, she was also not truly a part of my life.

Forty-two years ago today, death came to me very personally and profoundly.

My parents had hired a live-in babysitter circa 1960 to help take care of me until I “grew up”. She was an elderly lady in her seventies, who spent her time totally spoiling me.

I’m very fortunate to have turned into the man that I have become….normally folks so spoiled grow up to be miserable creatures who only think of themselves.

For whatever reason, the exact opposite has happened in me…I have always been concerned with others.

She and I spent much time at the local amusement park in the summer. We would take long walks throughout my neighborhood. I learned everyone’s name by heart.

In the downtown area where I lived, there were several old time elegant hotels – no longer there – where we would go to the lobby and sit to escape the summer heat.

During two consecutive years in the early 1960s, my town hosted the Miss USA Pageant. On one of our jaunts those years downtown, we got to see some of the contestants modeling swimsuits. I even got to see some “big name” celebrities who had come to town to be a part of those festivities.

Yes, my babysitter was my constant companion. We were quite close….because we had spent so much time together.

Forty-two years ago today, she died.

She was 78 years old.

A life ended.

I wonder if anyone else has remembered her lately?

Thoughts on Growing Older

Although Easter was day before yesterday, I can now say that my holiday was complete: I actually got to spend it with my youngest daughter, I spoke to my eldest daughter in El Salvador, and today I got an e-mail from the boy in Iraq. Of course, he is now working another long distance deal which requires his dear ole dad to do something!

This time he has decided to sell his Lincoln…which is currently parked in NC at Camp Lejeune. I now have to go to the O’Lovey’s house and go through his footlocker that we brought back when he left. Hopefully that title is there.

I told him that he should not part with that title until he had a certified check for the amount he’s selling the car for. But, what do I know? I’m just the dad.

Still, I’m thrilled to not just be a dad, but I’m ecstatic about being these three marvelous individuals’ dad!

They each have their unique talents and strengths. And, just like everyone else, they have their own unique flaws.

Still I love them deeply….and fiercely.

I spent a lot of time talking to #2 about her beau, Mr. Bodybuilder. Her feelings for him have grown exponentially since they began dating about a month ago.

I do declare…

The more I hear of this young man, the better I like him….and the more I feel a fatherly fondness of him. He makes my little girl beam. He makes her smile. He makes her feel protected.

These are all things I used to do.

It’s just another indication of the new role I am now finding myself in. I’m older. Soon I could very well be a grandfather to someone.

I’ve often learned from my life experience and made determinations of how not to be….hot not to behave… not to treat others.

As my children marry and begin their lives as wives, husbands, mothers or dads, I want to look upon their spouses as gained kids. I want to be able to love them just as fiercely as I do my own flesh and blood…..I don’t want to be their buddy……I want them to look upon me as their second dad. Someone that they can turn to…..someone that will love them unconditionally. Someone that will be there.

You see, I never had that from Dad O’Lovey. He was cold and prickly…..arrogant and aloof and, well, intimidating.

I never want to be any of those things.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Back Home!

It is so good to be back home again.

I love spending time with my parents and one of my children -- ALWAYS, but...I do enjoy the satisfaction of being back at my house...where I can enjoy the overall solitude of just being here and relaxing.

While on this trip, and since my daughter is working on my 50th Birthday Celebration, I went through Mom's old picture albums and came across some colossal pictures from long, long ago. I scanned a few and will put together a multimedia-presentation that I can have running in the back ground for those who are interested in seeing it!

Just for fun...and the fact, I'm tired from having been on the road for 7.5 hours with my dog, I'm not feeling like writing much. So, in lieu of an epistle and because they say that a picture is worth 1,000 is a picture of yours truly.'s FRANK....doing a pre-John Travolta, John Travolta imitation....LOL.

Now before you think I'm running pictures of kiddie porn....that down there by my thigh is a misplaced pacifier....not what you may think it is!

The picture is from 1958!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Greetings From WV & Happy Easter!

I am so happy to be here with my parents and my daughter from Nashville. Currently, she and I are sitting in Panera Bread near Huntington, WV taking advantage of their Internet Service. Thank God for technology.

It's been fun to be with #2 this trip. She is so very excited about her new beau, Mr. Body Builder. I must say, the more I hear about this boy, I am very impressed and get nothing but excellent vibes about him and her.

I suppose all those prayers that I have prayed throughout the years are being answered.

You see, from the day my children have been born, I spent much time at night....when everyone else was asleep....praying for my children's mates. I didn't know who they were or where they lived....or for that matter, what gender they would be. All I did was to pray that they would find the perfect mate....and that they would know it when they found it. I asked for mates of quality....I asked for sensitivity that they might be aware of the person when they crossed paths with there mates.....and so far, this appears to be the first one to appear in the life of my daughter.

I am encouraged...and excited to meet this young man. He has certainly made my little girl smile...a whole lot.

God is certainly kind to us....and even when we feel like personal failures I like the way He gives me little glimmers of sunshine that I was not so wrong after all.

Happy Easter to each of you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My 500th Post!

Well, this is my 500th post you all!

When I started this blog, I wondered if I would have anything to write about. AND...two years later, I'm here at #500. It's simply unreal.

Sometimes I have suffered from writer's block and I took several days off. At other times I've had to be away from the computer and I couldn't write when I wanted to. Then there were those times when I wrote several posts in one day. It all just depends on what's happening in my life on a given day and what I feel like writing about.

Today I'm worried about a new friend of mine that I met recently at PFLAG. He's a very young man from another country who has come here to get a job and to also get away from the pressure and questions his family ask about his not being married yet. He's gay and he's afraid to tell those who are close to him.

As he shared his story at PFLAG, tears rolled down his cheeks and his voice quivered.

I felt very sorry for him.

He called me later on that evening to talk about some more issues, but I didn't get the message until late. By the time I tried calling him back, the people who answered the line knew of know one by the name he had given....and so I pretended that I had called a wrong number.

So I'm thinking about this young man this evening. He's frightened and alone.

There are so many like that in this country. They don't know where to turn. Heck, I grew up here and I was at that point in my life. I didn't know what to do or how to deal with the issue of being gay. For the longest time I couldn't say the words, "I am gay."

Something about verbalizing it made it concrete -- made it real -- made it irreversible.

I didn't want to be gay.

But, there I was, gay.

Thankfully I came to this area at the age of 20. Cautiously and very skittishly I began experiencing the world....and seeing what being gay actually meant. I got married...had kids.....and I'm now where I am because of the journey that I am on.

But as I said not long of the main things I have learned is that there is life after divorce. It doesn't have to be a sad life.

As I contemplated divorce a couple of years ago, I remember so well thinking about my friend Jack. He had been married a long time and several grown up children. He had also been a minister and was pastoring a nice church here in the Washington, DC area. He came out to his wife and one day, his wife, (contrary to the agreement they had reached at the time of his disclosure to her.) outted him to the church. He lost it all...his church....his ministry....everything.

So he found a menial job by ministerial standards and worked to provide some semblance of life for himself.

He found an efficiency apartment....and spent many a lonely night there. He then went into the leather, pain, bondage scene. This is an example of going directly from one extreme to another.

I remember visiting his apartment and thinking, "I could never live like this."

It would have been so claustrophoic...and I could sense a real spirit of sadness....emptiness. Oh, I inew that I didn't want to have a life like that.

So here I am a few years later....and thankfully, I'm not in a situation like that. I'm slowly creating my new world.

Thank God that it didn't have to be a bad one.

Report from the World of Dating!

One of my friends told me a few weeks ago,

"Frank, you've got to begin dating. You need to get out and meet guys....and play the field. You're not getting any younger so get out there!"

For the life of me, I have just not really considered myself something to have to mass market. But apparently, my friends think I should throw caution to the wind and just see what's out there.

One person, in particular, helped me to craft an ad for one of those paying dating sites. He also helped me to select some tasteful pictures of me....(which are the only kind I have. If I had any of the "other" types of pictures, I certainly am not going to go about posting them on the Web!)

Up the ad went.

It's averaging a person a day looking at it.

It's certainly not causing folks to be tearing down my front door to be with me. And, the guys who have expressed interest aren't exactly my cup of put it nicely.

All except one... He seemed to be perfect... on paper that is.

His name was Bill. He lives in my area and was rather mysterious about the nature of his work. However, with the magic of caller-ID, I was able to find out his full name and I did a GOOGLE search.

I found out all about him professionally. I saw pictures...and learned that he has written a number of books.

Finally, he and I set up a time to talk....after a flurry of emails. Before I go on, he asked about my history. He was curious about my marriage...the length of long have I been did I feel when the wife dumped me.....what's been the hardest adjustment....etc.

So, when he called me, I asked some probing questions about him. I didn't particularly care about his was effeminate and quite nasal. He spoke with a whine. He announced that he considered himself an activist.....and on and on he went.....

I thought to myself, "This guy takes himself WAAAAAAAAAAAY too seriously."

Still I continued talking.

He brought up the Gay Men's Chorus. I said that I enjoyed them immensely. He then went off on a tirade about how they play to every stereotype in the book of gay people. "I went to one performance and was highly offended and walked out," he said flatly.

I rolled my eyes.

There was a long pause.

"You know," he said. "I have to be honest here. My experience has shown that since you have not gone into formal therapy about your coming out issues and your divorce, I just can't become intimately involved with you."

Inside I nearly choked.

How dare he?

He may have his whatever it is that he has it in. BUT, he doesn't know what I've done....or what I plan to do.....or if I even wanted to become intimately involved with HIM!

I simply responded, "Okay."

Long pause.

I had nothing more to say....and because "Wild Bill" had made this pronouncement out of the blue and was so knowledgeable about my psyche, I decided to let him dig himself out of this hole.

He stammered....he stuttered......he cleared his throat.

I remained silent.

"I hope you're not offended," he said rather condescendingly after more silence.

"Oh, I'm not offended in the least Bill!" I responded cheerily. "I'm just totally fascinated by the fact that you can arrive at such conclusions when you and I have not even met...or discussed what I've done or what I've NOT done. But that's terrific that you can do that. However, since you were honest with me, I should do likewise."

"Please do," Bill said politely.

"I'm not so sure that I really would be interested in developing anything with you. You see, folks who can't treat me as an equal and feel they have to talk down to me turn me off quicker than anything...and that is exactly what you've done today in this phone call."

"But --" he tried to interrupt.

"Oh, Bill, that's okay. Apologies aren't necessary. I've got things to do and I need to meet a friend for lunch that I haven't seen in over 20 years. Have a wonderful day!"

I could hear babbling on the other end of the telephone as I pressed the END CALL button. For the life of me, I don't know what it is he was saying.

But I felt empowered.

Gee, I can tell I have grown exponentially. I'm so much more sure of myself. It used to be that such encounters as this would have devestated me before. Now I'm learning that there are lots of different types of people in this world. This is what dating is all about. It's what you have to go through as you sift through candidates for life partners.

For me, my pickings are quite slim. I'm old....I'm no gym god. I'm me. I'm not cerebral. I do have some standards....and one very important rule that I live by is to never "talk down" to anyone.....and to never tolerate when someone "talks down" to me!

I may never, ever, have a life partner..or have someone in my life that I can love unconditionally and have him do the same, 24/7. But, I am reaching the point where this is going to be okay too.

I'm learning to enjoy being with me....and affirming me.

In spite of what some others may think, I've learned that I'm not such a bad guy to hang around with.

A Change of Seasons

It looks like spring is almost here. The daffodils in my front yard have broken through the mulch. The grass is turning greener. The weather is improving vastly.

Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons. Easter is my favorite holiday. There is just something neat about everything coming to life after a cold, harsh winter.

This year I kind of feel like I'm coming to life too after a long harsh winter.

I'm blessed beyond measure. I feel well. I'm excited about the future. What's past is past.

As you know, it hasn't been an easy journey. At times I wondered if I would really make it. The sadness and feelings of failure totally consumed me like a tidal wave.

Now though, I feel content....and I'm happy.

This past Sunday, I officially joined Metropolitan Community Church. My buddies were very glad that I did and I felt really good about it. That church has given me back my love of spiritual things....and my interest in God.

For several years I went through a very dry place and almost quit going to church altogether. I am so thankful that I found this church and hadn't totally given up on God.

Sometimes that is very easy to do.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Out of the Ashes @ 2

I can hardly believe it!

It was two years ago today that I began this little blog. I had no clue what the response would be...or if anyone would want to read of my trials and tribulations.

I had been separated less than a year and I was totally fearful of the future. I was so unsure of myself and just generally a mess.

Probably my most major concern at the time was if I were going to make it financially....and would I survive alone.

So here I sit, two full years later...counting my blessings.

I'm doing fine.

I'm also here to say that yes, there is life following the end of a longterm marriage. Oh, sure there is still some residual anger on my part.....and I still have the occasional aftershock from being this age and being single. But oh the growth I've experienced!

I'm a lot more comfortable with myself... I'm even more comfortable with the gay thing. I've established an excellent network of friends and acquaintences. I'm genuinely happy with myself. My health has improved drastically.

In a couple of months I will turn 50 years old.

My kids are off to te four corners of the world. They're happy.

I'm happy.

So many of you have been a blessing to me. When I've gone through very black periods of uncertainty, you've been there to offer encouragement and telling me, "Frank, you're going to make it!" or "Frank, you're going to be so much better off!"

And yes, some of you have even kicked me in the butt sometimes.....but looking back on all that, you did it when I needed it.

So, this little blog may not have millions of readers.....but it does seem to be helping some of you. For that, I will continue to write.....and share my innermost thoughts.....the pains and the joys of a single gay man.....trying to find his way in the world.

Thank you for reading....and the comments and the email.

It certainly has been quite a journey down the country road!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a GREAT Weekend!!!

This weekend has been a very good one so far. If this is any indication as to how my life is going to be from here on out....It's so much better than I could have envisioned!

Friday night I gathered with friends at a local Bob Evans Restaurant. They put us at this big table and we laughed and talked for two full hours. I am so blessed to have these friends from my church. Each guy is gay and he has his owns story to tell about how life was sometimes not too kind to them. But they have survived...and are doing well.

Following the meal, we returned to one of their houses and played cards until the wee hours of the morning and continued our chatter. I left for the return home very uplifted.

Yesterday, I visited with the elderly lady who had called me early in the week. Although she is 88...she is still in great health and driving and happy. We spent two full hours talking and catching up over a mid-day meal.

I then stopped by Mom O'Lovey's to check on her and her sister. She's doing fine....

Then, I returned home and got ready for dinner last night and the Gay Men's Chorus' spring show, "That 80s Show." What great fun....and it brought back such warm and funny memories. Check out the Web site at and see the brief clip of one of their rehearsals.

Afterward, my friend and I stopped at IHOB for some late night coffee and reflections.

When I got home, I was so tired...and I slept like a rock. Today is church....and I'm tomorrow.

I'm amazed at how my life appears to be finally coming together!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Friday (Finally)!

Friday is finally here...and I get a three-day weekend! YIPPEE!

I work one of those alternative work schedules in the federal government (AWS). I actually get a three-day weekend every other week. So I really look forward to them. This weekend I ge to continue to get rid of junk....I set out another 8 garbage bags full at the curb first thing this morning! Still more to follow...

In addition to the work, there will also be some play. My best friend and I are headed to the Gay Men's Chorus spring show on Saturday night....with dinner beforehand. I always enjoy their productions and it should be a nice relaxing evening.

So, at this writing, Frank is incredibly content with his life and how things have turned out. Increasingly though I hear through the grape vine that Lovey may not be having as much contentment as she had initially hoped.

It just goes back to my original thoughts from years ago....nothing will make her happy.

The novelty of her pastorates in the Shenandoah Valley appears to be waning. She was at her mom's all last week....and she went home for church last Saturday.....didn't preach on Sunday..... Returned to her mother's on Monday....and she's still there at this writing.

I have to wonder how her churches feel when Pastor Lovey is no where to be found!

But in the words of my mother, "I have no dogs in that it's really none of my business."

It just seems like she is a train wreck waiting to happen.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Little Slice of Heaven

Sometimes little gifts show up unexpectedly right when we need them.

To give a little background on this, there's a man at my church that I have a secret crush on. I've written about him before.... He's someone that is partnered....and someone that I don't know very well. To be honest, I haven't been sure if he even knows of my existence. When I have spoken to him or greeted him at church, he's always aloof....and a little distant. But still I have always shown myself friendly. Most usually he and I exchange pleasantries in the parking lot if we do at all as in this past Sunday.

If he were to ever express any interest in me I would faint dead away. But then, I'd immediately be a candidate for the Lazarus award because I'd immediately resurrect myself....and live happily ever after.

Most definitely he's trophy husband material. I can honestly say, if he were my husband.....and he came walking through my door every would see one very happy camper, indeed.

But, at this point, he is happily partnered and has been for quite a while from what I can tell. I'd never do anything to disturb that...but it surely is fun to think about.

However, I did get to experience a little slice of heaven tonight. Imagine my shock at opening my email and finding that he had sent me a note today. I have no idea how he got my email address....I didn't give it to him!

It was an extremely friendly note. Among other things, he wanted me to know that I had crossed his mind....and he was wondering how I was doing. He said that he'd heard that I had been through a lot over the past few years....and that he was praying for me.

I've reread that email a dozen times this evening....

If his partnership were to ever end....and I don't see that happening....I find myself wondering if I should just lay my cards out on the table....and let the chips fall where they may? My one concern though is if I do that...and he would not be interested, it would make whatever friendship I have with him awkward at best...

However, if he did have feelings for me at that could start a beautiful relationship.


His email to me this evening certainly has brightened my life considerably!

Off My High Horse!

I got off my high horse today and calmed down after the minor irritation I suffered from finding out that my daughter had been keeping a secret from me concerning Lovey’s new fellow.

It doesn't bother me in the least that she is dating again. Good for her! Maybe if she gets hooked up again, I can save a small fortune in alimony! What DOES bother me is the secrecy…. Lovey told #2….but told her not to tell me or #1.


She’s come out and inquired about my dating life directly. I had nothing to hide.

It’s just the principle of the matter that bugs me.

I expressed all this to #2…and she sent me this wonderful note:

You have a wonderful life, which if Mom only could see, I’m sure that she would be envious. You have friends. You have family. You have a wonderful job. You have a house that is your own that you have made into a home. You have a beautiful (although dumb) puppy dog. You have a church family. You are loved. Dwell on these things ….

The sun is still shining

I love you.

For me it seems like the sun is shining brighter and brighter each passing day.

I am VERY thankful!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And Now, A Moment of Irritation

Well, I talked with daughter #2 in Nashville a bit today. I told her about the discussion I had with her mother last night, thinking I was sharing some great secret. But she responded by saying, "I can't believe Mom told you."

#2 already knew....a lot....but had been sworn to secrecy.

And, #1 in El Salvador is not to know.

This all ticked me off big time. What's the big secret?

I've been pretty up front with all of them about my love life.

Lovey wanted the divorce to be secret.....the identity of her attorney secret......everything!

Come to think of it....there were a lot secrets that that family had that was hard to keep stories straight.

I told #2 all this....and expressed my frustration as to why she couldn't have told me about all this.....I don't like feeling like I am the last one to know. i'm also upset that for all those secrets that Lovey wants kept.....well, she never kept any of my secrets.

I just don't get it.

Even #2 is being mysterious about Mr. Bodybuilder. I asked her just what good this is doing her.

No answer....

I Almost Forgot to Tell You!

In my discussion last night with Lovey, following her discourse about all her many physical ailments, she mentioned in passing that she had lunch on Sunday with a "friend" who was a former policeman.

He's also into cars in a big way....and he checked my son's car out from stem-to-stern and announced that it was a "good deal."

Gee, I thought it word/thoughts/opinions have never carried much weight with Lovey!

She had this stupid look on her face as she described her "friend" I'm left to wonder...does she have her eyes set on this man? Was he her "date"? Could my days of alimony be numbered?

Stay tuned....this is getting interesting!

It has raised the thought in my mind as to how I would handle her remarriage. I mean, after all the drama, and trauma I endured going through the separation and divorce. The profound sadness....

But, I'm sensing a change here for Old Frank. I'm feeling so much better about things....and tremendously encouraged by what I'm feeling. Should she remarry...I don't believe I'd be depressed....not now....not in the least.

My main concern would be, "When can I stop the alimony!"

Sign me up!

You see, there was a period of time when I was consumed by guilt....and by feelings of failure..... Even Lovey's medical problems were thrown at me as a symptom of "our" issues. She said on more than one occasion that she was looking forward to be divorced because she knew that God was going to heal her of all her medical issues because my being gay was the reason.

Isn't that silly?

And the worst part of all is that I believed her!

Well, she still has her medical issues.

Her house is still a wreck. (She no longer has the kids and me to blame for it -- so now she blames her cat.)

She even said something about her not wanting to preach ever again!


It doesn't sound like her world is much better....

And my world has not ended in unknowns..... I'm here at my house.....happily looking forward to the grand age of 50.

Most of all, I'm feeling fantastically well. Going forward, I want to take better care of finances.....and

I want FUN!

Lots of FUN!

I can't believe how far I've come and just how good I feel!

My old self-confidence is showing glimmers of return...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bedtime at Frank's

It has been a very long and busy day for me.

Before I left for the office this morning, a gay couple from church sent me an email and invited me to dinner tonight. It was so good to just relax for a little while and be with friends.

While at the restaurant we talked about all kinds of things. And on top of all this, we had the cutest of waiters. He couldn't keep his hands off me. He was touching my right shoulder....rubbing my neck, patting my hand.

My friends noticed it....and on top of everything else, the waiter didn't charge us for any of the drinks we had!

Gosh, it makes me want to go back there see if he is as attentive then. LOL.

On the way home, I noticed a crowd of cars at Lovey's mom's house. So, I thought I'd drop by to say hello....and to see how they were doing. I planned not to stay very long.

When I went in...I was met by Mom O'Lovey......her sister with Alzheimer's, the Good Dentist, one of Lovey's younger sisters, and there was Lovey!

These days Lovey is just not looking well. In fact, tonight she looked like HELL! But I didn't say anything and I kept the chatter liht. Lovey announced that she had had her colonoscopy today. She wasn't feeling took them over an hour to wander through her colon. The doctor's conclusion is that she has a "redundant colon" which means it just doesn't work properly to move things out. It wants to keep things in. AND, since the procedure was not until this afternoon, that explains why she has been having such a hard time.

She's been working on a scrapbook of her trip to El Salvador....and showed me how far she has gotten.

She asked how I was doing.

I told her that I was feeling great!

I am....and I'm looking forward to how my life continues to improve....

THIS IS MY YEAR for FUN.....for ROMANCE......and for exploring my spirituality.

But first, I'm fading and need to go to sleep.

Goodnight everyone!

After All This Time!

I had another quiet evening last night.

These evenings are really going to spoil me. I bonded with my cocker spaniel. We cuddled and watched TV.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, my telephone rang. I nearly fell out of my chair when I found out that on the other side of the telephone was this wonderful elderly lady that I literally have not talked to in over 10 years. She lives here in Arlington and goes to the church that Lovey and I were married in. In fact, she attended our wedding all those years ago!

She carries her age quite well.....and in fact, no one has ever been sure of just how old she really is...well, that is until last night. She finally announced to me that she is 88 years old!

She wanted me to know that she had gotten my Christmas Card, but she had been feeling quite ill and had she was just now beginning to feel like herself. She wanted me to know that she was shocked about the news of my divorce.....and wanted to know if I were okay....and that she thought of me often!

We continued to catch up.

Turns out that she has outlived her two daughters.... But she still remains upbeat. Her only son-in-law keeps an eye out on her and takes her to dinner once a week. She's got all kinds of grandchildren, nieces, nephews and what have you. Her sister is still alive at the age of 90!

She then went down the list of all the people who have died at the old church.

It saddened me to hear.

I guess what has really made me feel bad is that we left that church because of Lovey's ministerial quest. She angered a lot of people...and we lost touch of so many dear friends.

This dear sweet lady now wants me to come back to the church for a visit.....and be her special guest. I also told her that I'd love to take her to dinner or to lunch on Saturday. She seemed to like this!

We talked for over an hour.....and at the end of the conversation she said two magic words that melted my heart:

"Love ya."

Even after all this time!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Get a Grip, Princess!

I think the thyroid meds are doing some wacky things to me. I feel all jittery and jumpy….plus, I didn’t rest that well last night and right now I feel like I’ve been run over by a fleet of dump trucks and a freight train. Gosh I hate this!

Perhaps I’ll feel better in the next few days.

I certainly hope so.

I don’t like feeling so moody. But that’s exactly what I am today….VERY moody. I feel like the walls of my life are sliding together and crushing me somewhere in between. It’s not a very happy place to be in.

Perhaps it’s the waning days of winter……the ice……the rain…..the cold……the darkness. None of which do I respond to very well -- hence my whining about not having someone special in my life 24/7.

I swear.

Sometimes I sound like a broken record.

It shouldn’t be this way.

I just need to suck it all up and be strong. If a relationship happens, it happens.

In the meantime, I’ve got a multitude of nice male friends. One paid me the ultimate compliment the other day. He just broke up with his partner of two and a half years. He told me that he wished I lived a lot closer to him….because I was the exact type of guy he was looking to partner with. If I lived closer, says he, he and I would be happily coupled!

It made me feel like a million bucks.

I have some other nice guy friends from church. They’re each wanting me to go on vacations with them. That is really neat! I’ve never done anything like that before and it is high time I start! Don’t you think?

I may be turning 50 in a few weeks, but I am far from being DEAD.

Let’s get this show on the road….and do some living……and have some fun….experience new things….see new places!

The Beginning of a New Week

Gosh I didn't sleep very well last night. I just don't know what my problem is.

Too much caffeine?

Worry about the kids? My parents?

All these things danced through my head as I laid in the quiet darkness of my bedroom.

I still can't believe that in a very few short weeks, I will be 50 years old. Goodness. In some ways, it seems like a mere flash of time....and in other ways it seems almost like an eternity.

Was it really nearly 40 years ago that the Brady Bunch appeared on TV or the Partridge Family? I used to live for Friday Nights for those TV programs. It just seems like yesterday.

Then I fast forward.

I came to the Washington DC area in 1978 -- that was 30 years ago! My children arrived in 1984 and 1986.

I used to say that one's life is very much like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it spins!

Cheery thoughts...huh?

So, in a few moments, I'm going to get up out of this bed and begin my day. A lot earlier than normal, but still it's Monday...and I could use the time to et some things done at the office.

I got to chat with my daughter in El Salvador finally. She has been so busy with all the stuff she does down there that there hasn't been much time for anyone else. She hadn't even had time to sit down and visit with her twin sister..... So I patched her into the call too.

#2 broke the news about Mr. Bodybuilder. Oh my goodness....the twins started speaking rapid fire twinspeak. It was amazing. Then, #1 complained that nobody ever tells her anything! LOL.

Well, if she communicated with her family once in a while, she might learn some things!

I've got so much to do around this hous beginning when I get home tonight. I have to finish my laundry....and prepare my rec. room for the Men's Bible Study Wednesday evening.

Next weekend I go to the Gay Men's Chorus spring presentation.

Oh my...still have taxes to do.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Quiet Sunday

I did a lot in church this morning. This is the first time that I've been so busy at church in years!

I did the Call To worship.

I then did a testimonial about the annual church retreat which is coming up soon.

Then, I got to pray with people after they had been served communion.

I feel so very close to each of the members of that church... It is so hard to believe that I have been going there for over a year now and feel so at home. I've made so many new friends that it is sometimes hard to get used to.

But then, a lot of my other friends would say, "Frank, why do you say this? You're a likeable guy!"

Sometimes I think I just need to get my attitude adjusted.

Had lunch with the gang and then headed home to work on cleaning out my laundry room. Spoke with the daughter in Nashville at length today. Her love life is in full swing. I'm very happy for her.

I also spoke with the daughter in El Salvador, who just learned of her twin's love life. Oh my goodness.....that is something to hear them talk at 90mph. WHEW!

Oh to be that young and carefree again.

I keep hoping to meet Mr. Right. I've met several guys over the past few months...and in the back of my head I'm always wondering...."Is this the one?" There's one very special man at my church that does it for me....but...**sigh**....nothing is going to happen there. I just know it. Someone else has his fulltime attention...which is the story of my life.

They're either married to women.....

or they're already partnered or dating other men.....

or they just look at me and wrinkle up their noses and say, "We're not a match."

I've said it before....and I'll say it again. Why do I have to be the one to initiate? Why do I have to be the person that takes the chance and has his face slapped? Why can't some of these men do it?

Do I give off an "unavailable" vibe or something?

My daughter, #2, found her beau by accident. She went to eat at a Chili's restaurant after church about a month ago....and a group of friends knew her group of friends.....and they all decided to sit together. Mr. Bodybuilder happened to sit across from #2....and, well, the rest is history.

Perhaps I'm giving off a panic vibe. You know....I'm pushing the age of 50.....I'm lonely.....I want to have a special man in my life to spoil....and to have him spoil me a bit. I want someone to grow older with. Somebody to take trips with....someone to explore the world......and to enjoy and to love my kids.

Why is this so dang hard?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Ache That Never Quite Goes Away...

Today has been one of those days that I have periodically. It has felt like I've been in limbo....neither heaven, nor hell. I've just spent the day wondering aimlessly from one task to the other....finding out that one of my toilet tanks is leaking in my basement. (At least it's not the sump pump dying....or some other leak because of all the excessive rain we've been having)....going to the dentist and having my teeth cleaned and scraped. Now THAT's fun!

This afternoon after I cam home, I was totally exhausted and decided to do something that I don't really do very often these days: NAP. So, I took a two hour nap.

I awakened refreshed....and then took a shower and met some friends for dinner and for a game of cards. In the process I met another man -- so my sphere of gay friends continues to widen.

I told someone today that I am amazed at having friends who want to spend time with me. I know. It's very sad....but very true. Always before in my life, I've been surround by acquaintences..not people who I would consider to be close friends....people who seem to enjoy my company....people who want to have dinner with me....or play cards or just hang out.

It's all so very strange for me.

But then there is that other issue that keeps cropping up.

It's the strong desire for closeness with another human being.

Of wanting to feel a deep emotional connection with someone who wants to have that in return.

Someone who is not scattered....and consumed with other commitments....and other people......

Someone who has time for me.

I got in fairly late tonight. And, while I am very thankful for the blessings I have...including a house with a wonderful dog, it's still not the same when a human being isn't there waiting for you.

Someone to run and hug you when you enter the door and says how glad they are that you're back, safe and sound.

Someone to send flowers....or cards....or email notes....or text messages...or to call.....

or....the one thing that I really fantasize about.....

someone to curl up with on the couch on a Saturday and/or Sunday morning and drink coffee with.....or to just be close to.

This house is just so quiet.....TOO quiet. I look over at the other side of the's empty.

And I ache to the bone for someone to be there.

A living and breathing person. Not necessarily for rip-roaring, x-rated, bed rattling, toe curling sex. (that's good too.) But just to hear the sound of another person breathing. clearing his throat in the middle of the night.......someone to rest my head upon his chest.....or to sleep with my hand in his.

This has got to be the worst part of separation, divorce, and empty nest.

Ghosts From My Past

For some unknown reason, folks from my past have been making their way back into my life.

To be honest, after so many years, I find it a bit creepy to have them calling me all of a sudden.

Some of these people and "us" parted ways in not too pleasant a manner.

More than one of these people had some sort of altercation with Lovey way back when and stopped callng, visting or what have you.

So, n ow that word of the divorce has spread, why are they trying to become all warm and fuzzy...after all these years?

It's mighty strange.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Moving Towards Financial Independence

As I have moved "out of the ashes" of what was my marriage, I had a lot of issues to work through....mentally, emtionally and physically.

The final piece is financial.

When Lovey walked out, she left behind a lot of "bills" she was unwilling to deal with like student loans...and one credit card with a very high interest rate. As I have cleaned up the residual mess of the separation/divorce, I incurred legal bills and other bills that have now left me financially strapped...due to the fact that I still have three kids, who, from time-to-time require financial assistance. While I'm glad to do it, I feel like I'm on a treadmill that keeps making me run faster and faster to keep up....but in actuality, I'm not getting anywhere.

So, I've made a decision I hope I don't live to regret. It's a bullet that I'm prepared to take...I've talked to accountants and a financial institution.

As part of the divorce settlement, I received a QDRO that involved a significant sum of money from Lovey's retirement accounts. This was to bring me up equal to her totals. (I work for Uncle Sam, who hasn't been nearly as generous as her law firm was.) So, this QDRO (qualified domestic relations order), is actually a tax-free windfall for my retirement accounts that had not been factored in my retirement planning at all. Sort of like icing on the cake.

That money, even with the stiff tax penalties, will allow me to become financially independent.... I would be totally out of debt.....the lingering balances on the credit cards with significant interest will be history....and all I will be left paying will be my mortgage, alimony, utilities, and my car payment.

The stress will be alleviated....and I can begin to pump money into my savings and into my retirement accounts.

While it's not the favorite path that financial planners would advise, it is something that is not without merit. It will make me happy......and as a result....I will live longer without stress.

The paperwork is on its way.

A Fit of Envy

Quietly I am envious of #2.

I’m jealous of her youth….of her talent……of her looks……of her romance.

There! I’ve said it!

No, I’m not wishing I were a woman.

But I am quite the antithesis of her. I’m getting older now…my youth has definitely faded. On May 1 I turn fifty.


I don’t have her talent or her looks. Youth has its advantages most definitely in the looks department.

I don’t have a romance budding.

She has a hunk that is after her. He’s an attentive one at that. He sends her flowers. He sends her sweet little text messages. He leaves her special email messages.

They go to movies and he holds her hand. He drives her home….and sits and talks.. No rush….He strokes her face and talks to her. He listens to what she has to say.

He takes her seriously. She’s the center of his life.

He compliments her. He says things to make her feel good about herself. It makes her self-esteem soar.

She is not his leftovers.

Gosh, if a man like that entered my life I’d probably faint dead away. Do they make gay guys like that?


Should I ask…

Do they make gay guys who are into 50 year-olds, that are like that?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Late Night Telephone Call

Last night I went to bed relatively early.

Just as I dozing, the phone rang.

It was #2!

“He left me a message Daddy,” she said. “He asked me to call him.”

Ah, Mr. Bodybuilder strikes again!

“So, I called him. He referred to me as sweetheart and sweetie!”

“Aw,” I said. “That really is sweet of him.”

“It creeped me out, Dad! I’ve never had anyone do this before. Isn’t it kind of odd that he has started this?”

“No, #2. It means that he is growing comfortable with you as a person. It means that he likes you. Enjoy it. Enjoy the attention.”

“But Daddy.”

“You’re over analyzing things again,” I intoned with my deep fatherly voice. “Breathe.”


“And keep me posted.”

“Rest well Daddy. I love you.”

“Love you too!”

With that, I hung up and rolled over….satisfied in my knowledge that #2 is on her way to a big adventure!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


So, I'm just minding my business at my house one day recently and the telephone rings. It's daughter #2 from Nashville breathlessly telling me all about this man she had me after church. He sat across from her at lunch and they seemed to hit it off.

She was totally tongue-tied. Unable to convey exactly what she was wanting to so desperately.

I've never seen or heard her be like this. It really must have been quite a moving experience.

This was about a month ago....

I've received daily updates every day since. He's sent her flowers. He's been attentive. He's held her hands. He's played with her hair. He's stroked her face. He's told her how pretty he thinks she is.

He's spoken of his five year old daughter....that lives with her mom.

He's shared his dreams.

He's also heard #2 sing...and he thinks (Oh...he's in the music biz too!) he can turn my little girl into a rock star!

He cooks for her....takes her to swanky restaurants.

Let's face it gang....he's wooing her and #2's resistance to all this is beginning to melt.

She initially thought he was gay because he was so attentive. I laughingly told her, "#2, your GayDar is haven't got a stop trying to lay that one on him. Take your time, enjoy the attention. No one is asking you to jump his bones, marry him....and have his love child. Just be cool."

But after some more appears that my gay issue has affected my daughter in ways I couldn't have imagined.

This bothers me.

I never set out to cause such angst or fear in anybody.

But here we are.


As time has progressed and I've had additional conversations about all this with my little girl....I pointed out that being gay is just one of those little quirky things that make me so loveable. I'd also like to think that I put FUN in dysFUNctional.

She's relaxed......she's now breathing....but still pondering the guy.

I found him on the Internet, by the way. His hobby is bodybuilding of all things. I found three pictures of him -- there in all of his glory......and his little skimpy bikini.......with muscles falling out all over.


Turns out he is 30 years old.

And simply GORGEOUS.

This now raises fears in me.

What if he and her become man and wife...? And he becomes my first son-in-law? Oh man.... reunions will never be the same.... I'll have such a difficult time staring across the Christmas Turkey at him.

Aw....I'm a good dad.....and I wouldn't ever dream of hooking up with a hunky son-in-law. But it has always been a fear of mine.... What do I do if I'm strongly attracted to one of my daughter boyfriends?

I guess what I will do is to downplay any attraction......and just be a dad. That's my best role in life.

However, I did tell #2 that whenever she and her brother and her sister marry, I want to have a very close relationships with their spouses. One day, all six of them and any grandchildren will be the only family I've got. I want each to know that I love them fiercely...because when I leave this planet, I want my family to remember me as a good man. Someone that cared. Someone that was dependable. Someone that was there when needed.

But mostly, I want to be remembered as the man who loved them all unconditionally.

Here's an email I wrote #2 sums up my feelings pretty well I think:


I'm having one heck of a day thus far. One of my "star" employees did somethng really "brilliant" and I've been trying to clean up the mess.

So, I need a break.

You're my victim.

I've been giving you and the bodybuilder a whole lot of thought. I think this is a great time for you both….and it's wise to proceed as you are: slowly. My only words of wisdom are for you to enjoy the moments you have with him. He obviously enjoys you….and likes being around you…..and getting to know you. This doesn't mean that you have to rush to the altar next week and have kids a few weeks after. It does mean that you have made a good friend…one that enjoys spoiling you…..and treating you as a lady.

This is a time of exploration….and of getting to know one another. He seems to speak freely around you of his dreams and aspirations. Do you do the same? It never hurts to ask "what-ifs". It also never hurts to ask questions during quiet times of reflection. You don't have to pull out your list and run down them all at once. Here are some samples….I think you'll get the idea..

"What if you fell for a lady that wants to be a performer? Do you see any conflicts with your desire for a large family?"

"Mr. Bodybuilder, how would you define a 'good' marriage?"

"What makes you mad? When you're mad, how do you handle it? Are you violent?"

What makes you sad?

"What makes you happy?"

"What are you favorite colors?"

"What are your favorite foods?"

(When you find the answers to the previous three questions….you can also find out when his birthday is……and do some things to surprise him……surrounding those answers.)

"So, Mr. Bodybuilder, I have to know….and I apologize if this sounds like I'm prying…..actually I'm just trying to get to know you better. You were married before, right? How long? What happened to it? Any regrets? What did you learn from the experience?"

(This could be an entire conversation by itself…….and the questions aren't meant to be asked all at once…but over the flow of the conversation.)

Now, don't go and get all BETTE DAVIS on me. I'm not saying that you and Mr. Bodybuilder are going to get married…etc. But you never know. You're just now establishing a great friendship….a close friendship…..a special friendship.

Before I began dating your mom, I read an essay. I can't remember the name of it…..or who it's by. All I can remember is one line that says, "Love is a friendship that's caught fire." That's what happened with your mom and me. We were such great friends at one time. Oh, how I still grieve sometimes over how it all ended…and I'm haunted by so many, many things. But, you know, there's not a blessed thing that I can do about it. I just have to let 25.5 years go….and sometimes it's hard. Like yesterday for example….that was so strange how that all came about. Afterwards, I was emotionally wrung out.

But this email isn't about my feelings…..or what my experiences, good and bad, have been.

It's about YOU….and how happy I am for what appears to be happening. You deserve nothing but good things.

I will put you on notice though….and you can roll your eyes all you want to…..but as all you kids find your significant others….I want to develop close bonds with each of them too! I don't want to have the cold, distant and aloof relationship that Phil imparted to me. I don't want to be cold and prickly…..or come across as hateful and controlling. I just want each of my sons-in-law and the daughter-in-law to know that I love them dearly…..and that they are a part of my wild and wacky family. After all, there will come a time when the only family I have will be my kids….their spouses…..and their children. It's very important to me to have solid, strong, and vibrant relationships with each….and I want everyone to feel free to talk to me about EVERYTHING…just like you guys do now. So, if things start heating up with you and Mr. Bodybuilder, WARN HIM!

Well, I guess I've rattled long enough…and I need to go back to earning a paycheck.

Love you lots…


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And the Rains Came...

It's nearly my bed time here in Alexandria, Virginia and what an evening this is!

I'm curled up in my big comfy bed.....all tucked in....and my dog, Davy is at my feet already dead to the world....snoring up a storm. Meanwhile, the raining is literally pouring outside -- hitting the window panes....and a steady roar is being made as it hits my roof. Somehow, the sound of the rain is making me feel quite content and safe tonight.

So, before I turned out the lights, I thought I'd update my blog. Wireless and secure home networks are so great!

There is no doubt about it...I am doing so very much better emotionally. It's been almost a year since the divorce was final....and shortly it will be two years since Lovey moved out.

It feels so good to be able to communicate with you, my readers....

To marvel in the stillness of the night....

To relax beneath the roar of heavy rains hitting my roof.....

In quiet one in tears because they didn't get their way: no awkward silences following harsh words. No slamming doors.

I'm just trying to figure out what my next plans should be.....where I should be focusing my affections.

It's really quite exciting.

But enough of all that. Let me tell you some of the other stories I need to share.

First, Lovey returned from her visit with my daughter in El Salvador. She and #1 had a wonderful time by the looks of things and from what I heard about it. I hope they genuinely had fun.

Upon her return on Monday, a week ago, Lovey had to be rushed to a nearby hospital because of some female issues. She spent the night in the hospital. She then spent the rest of the week at her Mother's...just down the street from me.

She was set to leave on Friday, when she had to be taken back to the hospital because of something else....which I kind of perceive as something a little more minor.... She spent that night again with her mother.

Saturday night when I took the car out to her house....I noticed how bad she actually looked. It concerned me. But, because we are now does no good for me to say anything about her appearance....or comment on her physical condition..... In the words of my children, they fear that any comment made will only reinforce attention getting behavior on her part. The kids all believe that their mother is somewhat of a hypochondriac.

I must confess that at times I have thought this to be true.

I sat and looked around at her house. It's a lonely and cold place. If I were still married to her and was required to live in that house...I would go crazy. Plain and simple. Piles of paper and books's a clone of how this house looked when she lived here. The aroma of cat urine permeated the place too.

But Lovey tells everyone how happy she is and this is what counts.

Today a very strange thing happened.

I came home at lunch time to get some stuff together for the president of my homeowners association. I grabbed it....and got into my car...and drove it around the corner to drop off at her house. After I parked the car......I turned to gather up the stuff....I turned to open my door....and a car pulled into the space directly next to the one I was in.

It was Lovey.

She said, "I was driving by your house and happened to see your car backing out of the driveway, and I thought I'd come the other way and say hello."

She still doesn't look well.

She went on to say that she has had a slew of medical appointments today....and that she's having some test performed on Thursday.....and a colonoscopy in the next little while.

Since I hadn't had lunch, I invited her to go with me to a little restaurant near where we lived when we were together. She jumped at the chance. So she continued to talk about all her physical maladies.

I just listened.

I kind of get the impression that she isn't as happy as she would like for all of us to believe.

Just now she sent me an email thanking me for lunch.....and telling me how good it was to "touch base" with me.

Given the way that she continues to initiate contact.....I must not be the evil person she once told me I was....

It's quiet here....the rains continue to come.......

My cocker spaniel is snoring loudly.....

It's time for me to turn out the light.

Monday, March 03, 2008

So Much Stuff Happening!

I have been waaaaaaaay too busy. Everything seems to be just a blur.

My son, Josh, the marine, decided to buy a new car on Ebay. Remember now, this is the kid that is in Iraq, serving his country. He will not be home for almost three months. So my question to him has been, "Why do you need to buy a car, sight unseen....NOW? Like this?"

I guess I'm just not hip enough...the fact that I grew up in a totally different era and the use of logic show this tragic fact.

He found this car on E-bay. Had the older woman drive it down here from her home in Rhode Island....and he agreed to pay her air fare back to Rhode Island! I had to work out the little details like.....take the money out of the Credit Union.....go back and forth with him to get the right paperwork completed so that I had his official power of attorney so that I could transact business on is behalf.

Then, he had a major problem to face: where would the car be stored until he could retrieve it.

Grandma O'Lovey balked.....since I live in a townhouse development with assigned parking and very few visitor's spaces, I couldn't help. Finally he shamed Lovey into helping him.

So yours truly had to drive this car....under cover of darkness into the boonies of the Shenandoah Valley....and drop it off at Lovey's.

Now THAT was an experience for another post.

Stay tuned.

So, Josh is happy....his car is safely parked at his mother's. It's a nice car.....I hope it serves him well.