Something has been on my mind lately. Namely, all the details I've left OUT of the blog over the years.
If you read between the lines, it's all here, of course. But out of respect to the other parties involved, I didn't go into specifics. Waking up from all that years later and having no respect for those individuals, I wonder why I bothered.
And why have I been thinking about it lately? Because I have to write about it. I have to go back to my book proposal about this time, and I have to explain it all. Even the missing parts.
At the end of 2005, when I left Uganda, I wished I'd been numb.
I wasn't. 2005 was a tough year. And a great year, until it was a tough year. If I were prone to pseudo-sappy nonsense, I'd say I grew a lot that year. Learned to be stronger, more independent, and to take care of myself.
Not true, of course. I blundered through the months with little grace, and certainly without much self-respect.
That was all—of course—related to colossal disappointment in a male of the species. But like Pandora's box, under all my demons, I still had hope. So when the next male of the species popped up, I gave it a shot. I was stunned, though. This one was actually a self-made millionaire.
Who adored me.
Really? The reward for going through all that emotional crap in Africa was... a Scandinavian millionaire falls out of the sky and into my lap?
I dared to laugh, and hope just a little.
About 10 minutes later—poof! There went the Scandinavian millionaire.
A less cynical Marie might have described this as another learning opportunity. Not me. I reasoned it out.
If X happens, and then X happens repeatedly, then there must be a reason X happens. Right? It's simple. If men can't stand me, and it happens over and over, then I must suck.
Before you lecture me, I know this is nuts. But it was in the back of my head. I am big on logic, big on being rational. If something happens several times in a row, it's not random coincidence. There has to be a reason.
So, I thought, I must be un-dateable. Un-girlfriendable. It's not that farfetched. I already had some Wonder Woman issues... I can't tell you how many men have said to me "You're amazing. You're smart, attractive, you can do just about anything, you're brave, ballsy, tough, brilliant, you have those cool bullet-deflecting bracelets..." etc etc etc. Oh and the last bit of that compliment? It's always the same. "But... "
Then I met a sloppy guy with an ego, totally full of career importance. Ten months later, I was dating the guy. I assume this is representative of just how low my self-esteem had fallen. "Terrible candidate? You're my guy!"
If you lower the bar too much, it will hit you in the head. So I probably shouldn't have been surprised when this Mr. Self-absorbed quit checking his e-mail and looking at his watch long enough to toss me aside.
I retired from dating for a long time. More than two years. And recently, just put a toe in the water. Tried going to dinner a few times with someone who seemed more suited to me, who is actually a decent person.
And I had to laugh. Guess what I heard? "You're amazing... but..."
I've been thinking back lately to 2005. The night I left Uganda, the driver at my hotel was sitting in front of the front desk. I'd been chatting with him on and off for a few days. He saw Herr Marlboro arrive to pick me up, to drop me at the airport. He knew we were estranged, but that I was still hopeful in spite of all the hell I'd mentioned.
The driver smiled warmly at me.
"I will pray for you."
I don't know if he did. It obviously didn't work, but I'm past the point where I can let men's opinions of me matter all that much.
The fairy tale ending isn't for me. I make my own way.
Even though I'm "amazing... but..."