Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | June 12, 2010

…but it Does Rain in Almamaterville

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, this whirlwind mini-vacation has been a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with old friends, build new connections with new friends, and just generally recharge my batteries.

Up until last night.

I’ll also note that this trip has helped me to clear my mind about a few things (largely due to some excellent, thought-provoking conversations during this trip.) On the mundane business side, there’s the iPhone vs. Blackberry conundrum (iPhone wins)*. On the Big Questions list, there’s the what-to-do-about-the-house internal debate I’ve been lugging around in my head (“let it go” wins).

Yesterday was spent mostly on the road to Almamaterville, and then reunionating with a bunch of friends from days-gone-by. Aside from a weird, mild dizzy spell that hasn’t gone away yet (evidence, I suppose, that I’m still blond), and the continuing annoyance of my limpy gimpy knee, the evening was fine. But a miscue in the evening and a severe bout of insomnia had me doing a lot of second guessing.

I’m glad to be spending so much time with intelligent, beautiful women (and, for that matter, my intelligent, like-minded male buddies). But unlike my visits these past few days with such lovely ladies as Jolene and Mel and [certain other people from my long ago past], I’m feeling oddly outsider-ish here at University among my fellow alumni. I can’t quite put my finger on why.

Perhaps it’s just a normal dip in the ol’ mood regulator — after all, one can’t feel upbeat and belonging *all* the time. Perhaps it’s too many associations from my University days when I was always the “safe choice”, the confidante, but never anything more intimate than that.

So while tossing and turning alone in my dormy bed (these dorms are awful… it’s amazing that we used to live here), I of course realized that I’m doomed to a life of solitude and loneliness, of failure and let down.

And in case it’s not clear… yes, I know this is probably just a mood swing. That’s how moods go. A mild round of let down or depression or whatever you want to call it. But there it is. Some days are up, some days not so much. If nothing else, this just serves as a reminder that I’m not out of the woods yet.

…Even if I do have a map, and I have been making forward progress.

* Hey, Suzanne: I agree with you, for the most part, on the lack of need for subscription-based gadgets. Alas, it turns out I do require certain capabilities for my work. I’ve held out for as long as I could, but ultimately, lucrative consulting gigs pulled me kicking and screaming into the 21st-century.



  1. INRIS,

    I’m going to go with lack of sleep, nostalgia, and feeling off-kilter here to explain your feelings. Dude, right now you are PERFECT flirting material. That doesn’t necessarily make you…safe. It just makes you…unavailable.

    You’ve been sharing with others the lay of your land. No woman of “a certain age” is going to “jump on that” unless she’s heartless and callous. It doesn’t appear that your crew includes a wealth of these lasses.

    Right now no one is going to touch you with a 10-foot pole due to many factors, and not one of them has to do with “safe.” While you WANT to be ready, you’re not. You are still vulnerable, hurt, wounded, and MARRIED. You really are not free to indulge, and, whether you believe in “signals” or not, you’re probably sending them up like emergency flares.

    Finding the YOU you remember was the goal. If someone is flirting with you, it does mean some sort of sexual interest. That’s good too. You’re beginning to form the initial ideas of what your next partner should be like. You’re seeing others as attractive and open to more.

    And you still have to do the work of cleaning house, getting divorced, and moving on. Because of all the flirting, you’re relearning and refining the first step in meaningful sexual connection. That will be really important when you are completely ready to join the dating scene.

    Get some sleep.

  2. Our Almamater isn’t ours anymore, that’s one reason why we feel out of place. And we’re not the people we were back then either, even though we feel we should be. So it’s the same buildings and same the bodies, but everything else inside them has changed. Just enjoy your time there and pump up some volume.

  3. Yes…likely a mood swing, so I am glad you recognize that 😉 And to be honest, I would probably be feeling the same down-ness if I were where you are right now, life-wise, and then heading to your reunion…because if it were me, it’s only natural to be looking at life and realizing that you’re sort of at a new starting point (not starting over, but starting anew, a new chapter, no negative connotations!) in life when you probably never thought you’d be facing all that you are facing. I get that, I really do. So, let the mood swing through and today’s a new day. (and I’m with you on “let the house go” as I mentioned the other day at lunch! Starting somewhere fresh and YOURS makes a world of difference).

  4. An iPhone? Traitor.

    In regards to your mood swing, if I didn’t know better I’d say you were having a bout of PMS. They didn’t slip a little estrogen into your drink for fun, did they? Lol, I’m just kidding… But you may want to try chocolate and wine as a cure anyway, it will be briefly enjoyable if nothing else!

    In all seriousness though, there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little off sometimes, just as long as you can dig deep and figure out why. You have to remember, these people are from a million lifetimes ago, and your blog friends, even though you hadn’t met them, are part of your current life. It makes sense that you are more comfortable with them. Try to enjoy the rest of your vacation!!

  5. I wouldn’t worry about the downswing right now. Perhaps, due to your current difficulties, you were looking for an emotional boost. You may have been asking too much of your memories to provide that. You are only experiencing the truth behind the statement that you can’t go back home again. Everything you remember has changed, and so has everyone. Those differences are why nothing feels like it fits.

    Just enjoy seeing old friends again and don’t make this any bigger than it is. You could use a break and should just let things happen as they will this weekend.

  6. The very thought of reunions give me mood swings. At first, I get caught up in the euphoria, remembering all the fun times. Then I start to think about the details and how many years it is since I spoken with some people. There’s a reason we drifted apart – what makes me think I’d have much to say to them now? Gloomy, yes.

    Heard you a fun lunch with Jolene …

  7. It is always such an eye opener to walk away for a bit and look at thing with a new perspective with new people. The world still moves round.

  8. another incident of blog imitating life; i went through this same thing this weekend. i finally had it out with someone who’s been circling around me as my marriage has disintegrated and shattered. we’d been up to the edge of together and back about six time before this, and he finally ‘fessed up to some less-than-appealing intentions. the whole thing’s left me feeling like i’ve had my soul scraped over a cheese grater: raw, bloody and sore.

    but this too shall pass. logistics will change. your… impediments… will fall away, and you’ll be ready to set foot in the world with fresh eyes. better for the suffering, in a way, too. at least that’s what i tell myself to get through the day.

  9. Shake it off. You’re only doomed if you roll over…or bend over and take it. You know better. Where is the INRIS I know and love? That’s right. You needed a little tough love to start your Monday. 😉

    Big hugs. You are loved…

  10. You’re right, it is just a mood swing. I’m not sure there’s a person out there who hasn’t had those same thoughts at one point or another.

  11. Yeah, you got this. This is SUCH a small blip on the radar. Its a test, my friend, and will definitely make you all the better dateable material for later. 😉

    Accept where you are, moodwise, then smile and go head first into your day.

  12. Mood swing. It happens when we start thinking about the past, what could have been, what should be, “where did things go wrong, how did I get off track, yadda.”

    I’ve been paying a lot more attention lately to the mood swings. People are so focused on being HAPPY, but you don’t know what happy is unless you’re occasionally NOT. So, on those NOT days, I just look at it as a readjustment.

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