Walking into the front doors my phone is going crazy..... a client is IMing me on facebook, my publisher was calling from the UK to set up an interview (super exciting!), my email was going crazy and I'm trying to check in to the gym and so I sit down on the leather seat in the lobby to finish my call and in walks......
And, I have a teeny-weeny confession to make... one, which will no doubt reign the slight annoyance of many of you upon me......
A few years I set up a membership at a gym - and at the time, they had a kids club special, which was only $10 per kid per month - AND - you get two hours a time and you can go twice a day if you want. That is an AMAZING deal... they don't even offer it anymore.
So, years went by - and I went off and on... and when I didn't go, I considered it my "fat tax". Money I couldn't otherwise spend on food or trinkets or going out... a constant reminder that I *should* be making the most of it and going to the damn gym.
A few years ago I added El Capitan to my membership plan. Now.... the answer to the question you're alllll wondering is: no, I did not cancel his membership.
Even when I KNEW he was lying and telling me that he *needed* the membership because he was "showering" there because he was "homeless" even though he was living with Yoga Girl: He asked me not to cancel it, and I did not.
Even when our divorce was final, our assets were separated: I did not cancel his membership.
There are *many* hills I have had to climb - and few I've had to "die on" so-to-speak - during this divorce process.... a gym membership was the least of my concerns and not something I was willing to throw down about. Let me explain.
Right or wrong... it seems petty to me - to cancel El Capitan gym membership. It's $29 a month. $29 bucks that say's - "I'm not a b*tch - and I'm showing you a kindness..."
It doesn't make me a saint... it doesn't make me the 'bigger person': it's simply a kindness.
Sure, one could argue, that El Capitan doesn't deserve my kindness - and the Ex-Wife in me might completely agree with this... but My Kid's Mother thinks is $29 and cancelling it would be petty... and I didn't want to be petty.
So, he still has the same gym membership attached to mine and I pay for it.
At least for now.
So there I was, on the phone to London, in my gym clothes (looking *awesome*) - and El Capitan walks in and plops down on the chair next to me. He waits for me to get off the phone and I fill him in on the interview - and he's genuinely excited for me.... he hopes The Book is doing well.
The conversation between us is easy.... free from anger - free from the usual suspicions that have haunted many of our recent conversations.... we're laughing - I'm cracking a few jokes about Yoga Girl, he's letting a few laughs slip, he tells me about some *crazy* ex-wife videos he watched on YouTube, we talked about The Boy's birthday: what to buy? What about a birthday party?
If you were sitting across from us: you would think it was two old friends chatting.
Not two exes who have made National news because El Capitan's a cheater..... not two people, one of whom was screaming at the other only three days ago - and who struggle at times to get along.
It was...... normal.
Now, the good news is that.... while I *enjoyed* talking to him - sorting out a few things - it didn't make me miss him. It didn't make me sad.... instead of making me think - "why did he leave?" blah blah blah..... I left our conversation thinking ... sweet: forward progress.
At this point... I'll take any freakin' progress I can get, honestly.
I went on my way, turned on Breaking Dawn and started my ten mile bike ride.... and after I thought about it, I realized that I still fell *whole*. I didn't feel sad or angry or bitter.... or ..... anything at all.
And *that* - the absence of pain, the absence of feeling a great loss and sadness: that made me happy.
I sat there watching Breaking Dawn and I started thinking about a facebook chat with a friend from last night and they asked me, "Are you ready to meet your "Edward"?
At the time, I didn't really have an answer.
At first it really caught me off guard because lots of people talk to me - talk around me - sh*t... talk *about* me - but not that many ask about me. (Alex... you're clearly not in that group. :)
The last ten months were hard. I didn't see it coming, didn't even think I should be worried about such a thing - and then suddenly I was faced with dealing with the betrayal of it all.
Really... it was the betrayal that hurt the most - the lying.... and - El Capitan went OUT OF HIS WAY to continue to lie and be hurtful welll after I field for divorce. Part of "healing" has been coming to terms with the fact that this person who was supposed to love me and protect me was doing the EXACT opposite.
It was really hard to understand that. Hard to accept JUST that - regardless of who had done it to me.
Then I had to realize and come to terms with the fact that El Capitan wasn't the man he was supposed to be... and so, I kind of had to grieve that loss. I had to grieve the loss of the husband I *thought * I had, but never had.... which is complicated, but necessary.
I am .... a lot of things, but mostly I'm loyal, honest, true, I'm a good friend - and I'm the kind of friend who can go through hard times with someone - who can forgive a friend if they done or said something that wasn't kind or was a wrong.... I'm the kind of person who *believes* in people - and while I *do* have a bit of a "hard candy shell" (especially with media people) - I'm very easy going - and I *always* try to do the right thing. Period.
El Capitan knows all that about me ... and did what he did anyway - that was hard to try to understand and accept.
Today, sitting in the gym lobby, I realized that all of the emotions tied up with the above issue's were.... gone. I got up and walked tot he locker room *not* in a cloud, but laughing at something funny El Capitan had said and then went on to the bike. Simple. Nice. Normal.
So then I started thinking about the question from the night before.... I don't know if it's a question about "being ready" for anything... instead, I think that (and most importantly) I'm *excited* about the possibilities of meeting people who *will* see and value the things about me that El Capitan did not.
I've come to accept the reality that my marriage was *not* full... and at many points, it was not happy, which is really, really hard for me to admit. And even though I was always trying to *make* it happy -the truth is that that didn't actually mean *I* was happy.
Talk about a *serious* realization.
Am I "ready" for my potential Edward? Well.. in the first place I'm not all that sure there's an "Edward" that's interested.... BUT, regardless of that: I'm ready to be happy.
I'm ready to get to know people and start enjoying my life again - and at some point - the person who *will* protect me at all costs - the person who *will* value me and love me, the person who is *meant* to spend their time laughing and enjoying the children *with* me, ...... they will find me... and who the hell isn't ready for that? hahahah
And.... you know what - *if* I had cancelled El Capitan's gym membership... it might not have happened. If I had been petty - just because I could - after all, *why* should I pay for someone who cheated on me to work out and get buffer for Yoga Girl and a million other reasons *why* I would have been justified in cancelling his membership..... if I had done that - I *might* have missed out on the healing that today's conversation brought me. What a loss that would have been for me.... certainly a bigger loss than the potential "thrill" of cutting of his gym membership would have possibly (but not likely) brought me.
So today.... we're going to call it a Win for Kindness.
Sometimes.... just a little bit of kindness - even if undeserved - goes a long way.