Mr. Right….Ireland Day 2

I woke up the next day in Ireland feeling rested and much more like myself. While partaking in our first official Irish breakfast, the owner of the B&B recommend that we visit Avoca, in county Wicklow. It is the oldest working woolen mill in Ireland and Ireland’s oldest surviving business. Apparently, it was also the site of a popular BBC TV show, “Ballykissangel”. I myself never heard of the show…but maybe you have. My Mom makes me watch some horrible BBC show called Keeping Up Appearances, which proves that I’m not much for European sitcoms. In any event, Mr. Right and I were excited to experience something so rustically Irish. To the Mill!

That day, the Mill was closed for business but the retail stores were open. A few days before we arrived, Ireland was hit with a foot of snow. The snow has since melted but the weather conditions were considered extreme by the natives. Apparently, the weavers had not been to work in many days because of the conditions. Mr. Right and I were amused because the roads were clear of snow compared to what we were used to at home. No matter, we were able to walk around the grounds and look in the windows at the looms. The scenery around the old buildings was breath taking and we took some amazing photographs.

After making our purchases at the retail store, we went to Fitzgerald’s, an old Irish Pub. The only food they served was pizza. Weird, right? Anyway, it was the first time that day that we sat down and talked to each other with out the distraction of planning our day. Suddenly, I realized Mr. Right was acting rather strange and withdrawn. He was more concerned with the Barak Obama look-a-like at the end of the bar and oogling the inebriated the rugby team. This left me talking to who I can only assume was the town bag woman. I tried to tell her we were headed to Waterford the next day but in my Philadelphia accent, it sounded like “Wood-er-ferd”. Needless to say, she had no freaking clue what I was saying. I point to my glass of water….”wood-er?” Oh well, it was a lost cause. Smile and nod smile and nod…where the hell was Mr. Right? Oh, yes, how could I forget he was distracted and preoccupied! I wondered if he was upset at me for my lame attitude the day before. Perhaps the jet lag was staring to hit him too, or perhaps he was staring to think that I was Miss Wrong…

After lunch, we stopped by a shopping mall to peruse the Irish wears. We passed a jewelry store and Mr. Right asked me if I wanted to go in a look at rings. Rings? Holy Sweet Mother Mary….did he say RINGS? Odd coming from a man that was somewhat avoidant the majority of the afternoon. Anyway, I declined the offer and opted for the Irish version of TJ Maxx instead. I bought a shirt, which, I believe, was size 38. Apparently, I am fat in Ireland! Mooo. I kept thinking back to the rings, I should have agreed to go in the store and look. Why did I say no!! It just seemed unfair to the Irish jeweler knowing we had no intention of buying. In the back of my mind, I figured that engagement would be the next logical step for us but it seemed too soon to introduce the concept to Mr. Right. I did not want to be the pushy spinster; marriage wasn’t an immediate need. On the other hand, I did not mind the idea…especially not with Mr. Right.

After we freshened up at the B&B we headed into the town of Arklow to partake in dinner. At the first pub, we found out that dinner was already served. It was 8pm on a Sunday and most places closed their kitchen about an hour prior. We asked locals on the street where to eat and two men told us we could find a late night supper at Murphy’s. Inside, Murphy’s appeared to be another quaint Irish pub situation. We inquired about dinner and were told to head up a back staircase. Upstairs we found a lovely dining room, way beyond what I imagined from the pub scene below. Although the scenery was romantic, there was something still amiss with Mr. Right. His attitude couple with the ring suggestion of earlier was truly perplexing. What was going through his mind? I asked him if he was having a good time. Mr. Right brushed of the inquiry but something was wrong. Had he come all the way to Ireland to realize I was not the one for him? Could it be? But what about the ring comment? Ugh, what a bunch of horrible thoughts; there was only one thing left to do…drink whiskey!

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The Road to Mr. Right…Relationship Milestones

After Cute Glasses and I made things official, our relationship progressed at a steady pace.  We usually had plans both weekend night and a couple of times throughout the week.  Each conversation we had made me realized how much we had in common.  We were raised with similar values and sought similar paths in life.  We agreed on money matters, moral issues and even politics.  We had the makings of a long lasting relationship.  Our basic compatibility was different then I experienced in my past relationships. 

I met Cute Glasses parents on Halloween, three months after we met.  They turned out to be lovely people who were genuinely interested in meeting me.  I could tell that they were a lot like my own loving and supportive parents.  Our conversation that night reinforced that Cute Glasses and I were raised with similar ideals and comparable opportunities.  It was a judgment free zone; they obviously trusted their son’s judgment in women.  This was a relief since I had negative experiences with my boyfriend’s family in the past. 

With the “meet the parents” milestone out of the way, Cute Glasses suggested that we go on our first vacation.  We had discussed booking a ten-day trip to Ireland that February but I figured that we should first take a mini vacation first to see how well we traveled together.  We chose to visit my favorite Aunt and Uncle in Boston.  The plan was to stay with family and attend a Patriot’s game over the course of a long weekend.  My hope was that Aunt and Uncle would approve of Cute Glasses; they have known me my whole life and I credit them as good judge of character. 

Well, the first night with Aunt and Uncle was a fabulous time.  We ordered take out while Uncle and Cute Glasses sampled fine scotch.  Once the libations were flowing, Aunt brought out a new board game.  The game was much like charades: you could use different methods to get the other players to guess the word/phrase on your card.  Cute Glasses’ miming skills were so amusing that we bagged the directions and just called out guesses while he hopped around the living room like a rabbit or danced like a ballerina.   He was open and loose with my family almost as if he had known them a long time.  It felt natural and genuine.  Aunt and Uncle were for the first time, impressed by my significant other. 

You see, things with PB and Rocker Boy were not the same.  Rocker Boy was not confident enough to interact with my family on such a level.  I believe that Rocker Boy was so intimidated by anyone outside his comfort zone that he clammed up in unfamiliar situations.  It would have been like pulling teeth to get him to agree to play a game with people he just met, let alone actively participate.   PB on the other hand would have been sure enough of his intelligence to participate, but it would not be his idea of fun.  It would have been more of a labor of love in his eyes, whereas Cute Glasses was in his element.  We were not making sacrifices or compromising for one another…we actually found the same activity enjoying.

Do not get me wrong, Cute Glasses and I do not watch all the same TV shows or read the same types of books.  In fact, that weekend, we sat in bed together enjoying books of vastly different genres.  We have different interests and hobbies but our idea of a good time is parallel.  I think that this is an important distinction in relationship.  No two people are going to agree on everything, but at the root of the bond, your interests should compliment one another.  Compromise is a part of every relationship, but if you find yourself constantly making concessions for your partner, that should raise a red flag.  Spending time together should be easy, not a chore.  If you find that type connection with someone, hang on tight.  However, if you find yourself constantly outside your element in a relationship, you might be with the wrong person.

When Cute Glasses and I arrived home from Boston, we booked the trip to Ireland.  A short weekend trip together was evidence that we would be compatible travel partners.  Cute Glasses even suggested we go over Valentines Day.  It was potentially the trip of a lifetime.  Time would tell…

Dating and Family…why a Pizza Bagel is not for everyone.

Being an only child, I will never truly have the experience of a sibling relationship.  Close friends and cousins are the most intimate family-like relationships I have as a comparison basis.  So imagine my surprise when my college beau, Pizza Bagel, had a brother/sister bond so tight it collapsed our long-term relationship.  I spent many years hating on Pizza Bagel’s sister and blaming her for the demise of my longest lasting relationship.  These days I rise above my general distain and thank my lucky stars I purged my life of her even thought that meant ending things with Pizza Bagel.  Remember folks…you may not realize it, but you are/will be in a relationship with their family too.

I met Pizza Bagel (PB for short) in college.  Talk dark and handsome, I was intrigued by looks complimented with a strong personality.  PB was worldly and introduced me to international cuisines and element of cultures I had not yet encountered.  Young, naïve and amazed that college men would even speak to me made the attention from PB enough to sweep me off my feet.  It was your typical college romance fueled with keg stands and beer pong, the stuff of true romance.  I kid.  I kid.

As the relationship progressed, I pushed to understand more about PB’s family and his life back at home.  He guarded this information and was very hesitant to introduce me to his family (red flag).  There was evidence that he had a strained relationship with his parents and alternately, a very close relationship to his sister.  In the future, I would find out that his Mom had personal problems that affected his childhood.  As a result, his main confidant and closest family member became his sister.  In college, the details about PB’s past were not clear but it was evident that in order for the relationship to pan out in the long term, his sister would need to approve.  Had I been a more seasoned dater, I might have realized that PB’s lack of willingness to introduce me to his family after a year of dating was a bad sign. 

When I moved to New Jersey after college it was to pursue my career, PB had also established himself in that area and we were still dating.  Although we did not live together, we were in close proximity to each other and his family.  It was at this stage that I was exposed to them on a regular basis.  My relationship budding with PB’s sister became complicated almost immediately.  She was the jealous type that needed to be the center of attention.  (Google “Histrionic Personality Disorder”).  For eample if I wore something new she would pout over her lack there of said something.  She had husband that was totally enthralled with her, yet she craved PB’s constant attention and affection.  This was uncomfortable for me and she started to feel like the “other woman.”

At that point I knew I could deal with PB’s mother, personal problems included, and even with PB’s dad and his stand-off-ish attitude.  That would not make or break our joint existence.  However, the events of one night changed everything.  PB’s sister’s need for attention resulted in a violent attack on PB and the injuries sustained were not just harmful to PB but to the fate of our future.  Tomorrow’s post will tell that story in detail.

No one’s family is perfect and if you do find a partner with a family you love then you are truly among the blessed.  The hope for most relationships is that you get along with your partners family and at least have a bond based on respect and your mutual love interest.  The point here is that you cannot deem a partner a potential marriage candidate until you meet and get to know the family of which he or she is a part.