Fool me once…

Bae and I have broken up again. In theory, forever.

His birthday is in four days and I’m in a quandary about whether or not I’m supposed to acknowledge it… he specifically requested no contact so that he could heal, which I am trying to respect, but like, it’s his birthday….

Obviously I’m going to message him.

In four months, I’ll be on my way back to the States. I cannot wait to get the fuck out of here. It’s going to be insanely stressful to move my entire life, especially back to the States, which is an inconvenient land of paperwork and poverty, but in the end I know it will be worth it. I know that it is what is best for me. I know that I will date new men and get over bae and move on and be fine. I know all of that logically.

But as I told my Abu Dhabi bestie, it is insanely hard to see myself trusting anyone any time soon. Like if someone tells me I’m pretty I’m going to just want to laugh at them. Or more likely, make a face of disgust at how basic they are. The first time someone new tells me they love me, I’m going to run away so far and so fast. Or more likely, stare at them with horror and then blurt, “What the fuck does that mean?” The whole idea of love and relationships seems so ridiculous and naive. It’s all just a bunch of ridiculous hormones and fake chemical fantasies. And at the moment I’m going through some intense withdrawal from those hormones and chemicals and it is so fucking painful. But I’m also so aware that it’s just a chemical thing. Did I ever even truly love him or was it all just an elaborate con-job? What the hell is love, even?

And I want to say that it wasn’t worth it, but I know that’s just the withdrawal talking. I know that once I heal, I will stupidly, excitedly, hopefully jump right back into it all.

Humans are such idiots, we really are.

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When my husband (he’s back to that moniker) applied for my visa here, he used to be gone for hours. And when I asked him what he’d been doing, he’d reply, “Papers.” At the time, I found that answer infuriatingly oversimplified. But now that I’ve genuinely started looking into applying for his USA visa, oh my God, papers!

Some of it’s pretty straight-forward. Until you get to the “proof of bona fide marriage” part. Which is bonkers. One website said on average they send roughly 500 pages of evidence. Another person shared her 5.5 lbs packet of evidence. And the evidence should cover our entire five-year relationship.

But a lot of it makes assumptions about how people do their marriages…. Like, how can I provide a joint-lease or joint-utility bill? Why on earth would we ever have made anything joint? Everything was in his name in Cyprus and when we first moved back to the UAE. There was just no need for my name to be tied up in it since he was dealing with everyone, even though I was technically paying for it all. (I loathe talking to non-native English speakers. He has infinite patience for it. And I just pay for things, haha.) And now everything is separate because my school provides my housing and insurance, and pays my utilities. And we have no reason for joint bank accounts or car leases. Oh! I suppose he was on my rental car insurance for a bit… but why on earth would I have saved that documentation? Apparently you’re supposed to literally spend the first two years of your marriage collecting evidence that you’re married. And also the courting years. Obviously neither of us had the foresight to do that what with trying to deal with, oh I don’t know, being married! Paying for life! Living!

So most of our evidence will be trying to prove our marriage is bona fide by “intimacy evidence.” Some suggestions include sending them letters that we have mailed to each other… which is hilarious. So instead, the modern day equivalent is our social media communication and posts… except of course that neither of us is prolific in public posting and I routinely hide from cameras and hate having pictures taken of me….

I had a mild panic attack this morning going over other people’s crazy detailed evidence. But now I am taking deep breaths and making lists of what we do have. Which is, I suppose, a lot. Just not utility bills.

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Year in Review: 2018

This year has been one hell of a ride. For me and so many people I know. It’s honestly quite shocking to think back to one year ago. I barely remember what I did for New Year’s Eve last year. I do remember that I had a job lined up, I wasn’t going to be arrested and deported, but I was not with my exhusband (although he was still my husband, technically, then.) And that about-to-be-divorced fact was insanely depressing and difficult to accept. Then in January, we had tea, went to court, got divorced, went out to commemorate, and ended up back together.

I spent the next six months with him, but fighting a lot, as we tried to reconcile our differences of opinions and views. My friends loudly protested our reunion, which probably didn’t help. And I was working a steady job, which put pressure on him to get his shit together so that we could truly plan our future. I wanted him to come to America over the summer, he couldn’t, he needed a job, we needed to be equals, and I was about to leave for a month. All of which led to more differences and more fights and a second divorce, and then the third and final divorce, right as I was heading off for the summer exodus to America.

I spent the summer in America trying to imagine life without him. Trying to reconfigure my entire future. I made new plans for myself, which didn’t involve anyone but me and what I wanted from my life. I caught up with my American friends and imagined how I would fit in or where. And it seemed very do-able to live the NYC life again, and I decided it was time to make plans to return to the motherland. And I suppose on some level that was necessary.

When I returned to Abu Dhabi, I continued trying to imagine life without him. It was impossible to do here though, not with his memory haunting me everywhere. So I haunted his phone. Until he haunted my phone back. But in my day-to-day life I was trying to move on. To fill the hours with things that didn’t concern him. To save money and take care of myself. I spent a lot of time with my Abu Dhabi best friend, as she went through her own separation, and my ex was a saint compared to her ex. Hearing about all of my friends’ issues with their significant others or even just watching them have petty bickering fights just made me miss him a thousand times more. He would never do the shitty things they did. I understood all the logic behind his mistakes, while my friends’ significant others’ mistakes seemed rooted in deep character flaws.

And eventually he came back to me. And it’s been odd. Because we both want to be together so badly, but there are so many reasons we probably can’t end up together. So we have to keep our own lives too, just in case. And that has been the last month of 2018.

Inshallah 2019 will be amazing. For me and for my friends (especially those who truly suffered so much in 2018, you have no idea, poor things) and for all of you! Happy new year!

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I’m never going viral

As most personal bloggers do, I often waver in my commitment to blogging. But the truth is that in one form or another, I’ve had a blog for over 15 years. And sure, months go by without an update, but I’m always lurking around, ready to spill my guts for potentially the entire world to see.

And that is terrifying. The idea that my boss could stumble upon this website and learn about my personal life is haunting. The idea that my students could find it… Or what if the men du jour of yore should recognize this as mine, go through the archives, and find mention of themselves? It’s all extremely petrifying.

But the truth of the matter is that those odds are low. Because I’m never going viral. I have like ten viewers. And I love you all. But your numbers are low. And any attempts to become famous hover around zero. And quite frankly I don’t see those attempts rising, ever. Because I am too lazy to promote myself. Because things don’t go viral unless they’re videos/gifs. Because I get queasy at the idea of making myself brand-able. Because I enjoy my current lackadaisical plan of just living my ridiculous life and then gossiping about my ridiculousness. And then rereading all my archives whenever my life turns to shit and being like “oh, it’s been a fun ride.” It’s like a journal, but written far more entertainingly.

There’s this obnoxious quote that goes exactly along the lines of, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” And I hate that quote so much. How on earth can you discuss an event without discussing people? And what good is an idea if people aren’t affected? The people are the core of everything! It just generally is one of those platitudes of pseudo-profundity that makes me want to scream. But the point is that I’ve contemplated not talking about people on here, for their and my own safety and privacy. But I can’t ever truly do it. That’s just not the way that I was taught to blog.

So to anyone who ever stumbles upon this blog and realizes it’s me or sees him/herself in it…. you’re wrong. It’s not me. And it’s not you. This is all clearly fiction.

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As was foretold…

As I foreshadowed in the last entry, I’m back together with my ex-husband. Don’t look so surprised, we all saw it coming.

And as was foretold, I had to break the nice guy’s heart. By which I mean that I was sort of seeing how back together my ex and I would be for a week, while chatting nicely to the nice guy. But never actually seeing him in person. But not quite ghosting him. And then eventually I was semi-straight with him and said I just don’t feel like dating right now. And then he still wanted to one-on-one hang out. As friends. Which was a joke, right? (It wasn’t. He was serious. And didn’t see the irony.) So I said, and I quote, “Nope.”

Unfortunately for all parties involved, the nice guy and I will be attending a mutual friend’s Christmas Eve dinner next week… I’m predicting/hoping it will be anticlimactic and we’ll just be cordial and polite and nobody will mention the elephant in the room, i.e. that date we went on that seemed like it went well, followed by the rather prolonged rejection. It has the potential to be beyond awkward though. Also, my exhusband is none-too-thrilled about me having dinner and drinks in the same room as someone I’ve recently boned. Which has the potential to be dramarama with him. We’ve talked extensively about it though, to the point where I cannot wait until it is over and done with and we can talk about the Kardashians or something less repetitive.

Anyhow. I’ve been on winter break for the past almost week and I am loving it! And I still get to enjoy it for the next 2.5 weeks! I’ve been trying to keep it productive too and mostly succeeding. Because luckily, exhusband is also on a self-improvement kick, so he has to leave my side sometimes to like go to the gym or hustle for money, so I have the time to do me. This past month we’ve been very “you do you, and I’ll do me.” It’s like those healthy non-co-dependent relationships I see on tv. It’s fascinating.

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