I had the most amazing month in Greece with my mom and yiayia. I recorded the entire trip and took a journal. (I’ve been writing my entire life). That was such a beautiful time to be there. To share that experience with the two of the most important and strong women in my life was irreplaceable. I got to share all my previous experiences there with my mom and show her all the things I learned from spending an entire Summer there when I was a young girl. Celebrating life only as Greeks know how on our tiny island in the Aegean which is also known as one of the Blue Zones. Yes. These are the moments that shape our lives or prepare us for some sort of emotional or relationship battle, because I learned from them how to be strong.
I think it is worth noting that while I was there I ran across my former mother in-law. Yes. The entire reason I started this blog. Let me digress for a moment. It was a quiet afternoon and I was lying on the beach at Faros. No one was around. I had Pink Floyd playing on my Walkman. (Who remembers those?) I was in the most zen moment when a woman approached me and sat down next to me. I looked at her and immediately thought “You haven’t been to Greece in 15 years and she just found me on the beach?” Well…I guess we are going to talk. And we did. She asked how I was doing and she actually said that “People change. Mistakes were made. Maybe I could reconsider..???” I looked at her and said “I’m done. I don’t go backwards in time. I will accept my part in it, but that was too painful for me.” It is the last time I ever spoke to her. I closed that chapter and I am sure she delivered the message to him. Here is what I learned from that relationship. People do not change. They can mask their true selves and play a role for a time, but eventually you will remember who they are because they will show you. Once you have detached yourself just keep moving forward. Just like the arrow, when you pull back on it, it launches you into something better. Or so it says…..
Our trip came to a close and it was time to head back to Long Island. This would be where my arrow delivered me. I have since learned that this particular arrow is still soaring but here’s how this went down.
I remember when he picked me up at the airport. Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ was playing on the radio and I was feeling all American again. Here’s the thing about being fluent in Greek. When I spend enough time in Greece, I start dreaming in Greek. Then you have to shift gears back to your first language so what better way to immerse myself than listening to Petty <3! As we were driving from the airport he suggested we have some dinner. I was down with having a burger and fries. Something I had not had in a month. Perfect. While sitting at dinner he said that he didn’t like me be gone for a month and he hoped I enjoyed that trip because it would be the last time we would be apart that long. Sounds romantic, right? He followed it up with “It’s time to get married.” It wasn’t a proposal. It was a statement. There wasn’t a ring. In fact, I never had a ring. He just declared that we would be getting married. To this day I’m not sure I cared because I was laser focused on that burger and fries. We didn’t really talk anymore about it because I was stupid and was in stupid response mode so I said “Okay”. My kids have spent more time and thought into asking dates to prom than this moment in my life. LOL. I have consistently allowed men to not treat me the way a woman should be treated. Learn from me. This is not okay. This gesture should be an important one and I gave him a pass.
It sounds okay at this point but about a week after my return back to the states I came home from work and got the mail. There was a letter addressed to him. It was from his ex girlfriend. I know this because she CLEARLY wrote her return address on the envelope and wrote “xoxo” on it too. Listen up ladies. There is one thing we know how to do and that is stir the shit pot when we want another woman to know about their man. My gut reaction was “Oh hell no! I’m opening this letter because she wants me to see it.” And I did. I know I shouldn’t have, but I did.
My world spiraled as I read the words “I have your sweatpants and shirt. Let me know how I can get them back to you.” I’m sure there were other words on there hopeful of a reunion or some other incriminating evidence and I LOST IT! I was completely hysterical. No woman makes that shit up. So I looked for those items of clothing and guess what? They were gone. Motherf**&^! He was still at work. I did not know what to do so I called my best friend Michele. She came over immediately with Guy. I showed them the letter. They read what I read and I looked at them and said “I’m leaving.” They would have helped me leave that night but I thought I at least have to confront him. I know in my heart I should have left that night, but I’m stupid. Don’t be stupid. They went home and were on deck for whatever was about to happen. So I waited for his arrival. His first concern was “You opened my mail?” “Yes asshole. She wanted me to see this letter.”
Trust was gone from that point forward. I stayed. I held my breath. I realized once again that I was more invested in this relationship than him but there was no way I wanted another failure behind me. So we moved forward and she decided to make it miserable for us for a long time….