Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You just never REALLY know yourself, do you?

Today is Nathan's 6th birthday. We celebrated it with a bowling party on Saturday and a small family party at my parents' house on Sunday. The bowling party was nice. There were about eight boys and their parents, our old sitter, plus the new(ish) 16 year old and her siblings. Plus X and his fiance. And J and his daughter. And my parents.

Nathan wore his black velvet blazer, that I got for TEN DOLLARS at Gymboree. (I had no idea if he'd wear it, but figured... $10? Why not? Now he wears it with black jeans and a navy turtleneck. We just need to get him some bling!)

And speaking of bling.... X's fiance was wearing her new engagement ring.


I feel that I need to preface this with: The following is not pretty. It sounds petty. It sounds gossipy. It just doesn't feel like who I am. I am not a materialistic person. I like jewelry, but honestly don't really wear that much. What I do have I just keep on all the time. I don't switch around. I put it on and just sleep with it on. MOther's day bracelet from the boys, necklace of two boys from my parents, A&J necklace from J & birthday present earrings from J. That's it.

When X Iand I got engaged we bought my ring at the flea market. It was a single pearl. He was new to the US, he was young, he had no money... and I did not care. It was what it stood for. The commitment. The love.

So X's fiance was wearing her new ring. I didn't really look, but what I saw looked beautiful. And big. My mom whispers in my ear: "Did you see her ring?" I told my mom: "Stop!"

But the cavalcade of feelings that rushed through me nearly knocked me off my feet....

He claims he has no money for the boys, and buys this?! When we got engaged he had no money and didn't try to get around it - just got me what he could afford. Either he loves her that much more than he loved me, or he has more and is just trying not to help. And what does that mean to me that he loves her now more than he loved me then? We are all different people. Maybe he does. I love J more than I loved him. But, but, look what he got her? How can he claim poverty? Does he love her more than he loves the boys?

And then:

What kind of person are you?

It was not so much jealousy that she got a ring and I haven't (from J). Not at all. And it wasn't feelings of "wow, now it's really over. He loves somebody else." It was more the shock of seeing that he spent money on her and he hasn't ever on anybody else. Not me. Not his kids. Money is so important to him... that I guess it has become his expression of love.

Well... so maybe that is jealousy.

J saw that I was upset. I told him. We go back to party stuff. Mingling. Then he comes back over. "I got the scoop on the ring! They bought it duty free in Puerto Rico & the quality is so bad... no way he spent more than $150."

And I felt better.

I keep trying to tell myself that I'm only human. That divorce, re-marriage, etc, etc, etc opens up new sets of feelings and things that you never thought you'd be exposed to... But I really feel so awful having those feelings... and seeing them in print is not any better. But there you go.

And, I also found out that we're going to be invited to their wedding. End of August. In Puerto Rico...

And, she's so sweet. I so want to warn her. To talk to her. And don't all chime in, I know I can't. (Maybe an anonymous letter?)

ETA - Yes, I know, most people write posts about their birthday child... but well, you guys know I love him. He's a great kid. Glad I had him - it was worth all that pushing and labor pains. Plays well with others. Doesn't inconvenience me too much. Does his homework. Works the farm. Pulls his own weight. Eats all he's supposed to. Loves his mom. Minds his P's and Q's. Eats an apple a day. Speaks when spoken to (Ha!). Keeps his messes to a minimum (double ha!).


Gwen said...

First, happy 6th birthday to Nathan--how is that even possible?

Secondly, I was going to suggest that she had bought the ring herself, or had chipped in, but the truth is even better.

I can see how the whole situation would be upsetting, for so many reasons. I'm glad that J is so there for you to help you work through it.

P.R. in August? Could be a nice holiday?

Tracy said...

Happy Birthday to Nathan!!

And remind yourself... things are not always what they appear to be.

I agree... go to PR and have a great time knowing that he will then officially be someone else's problem ;-)

I'm sure it's hard for you not to want to warn her... but she's a big girl... she'll learn.

NYC Mama said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. You made a great point and I will be sure to include links to free/low cost activities.

I read this post and had to comment that I too know the odd sorts of feelings one has when they realize that the ex has bought something new yet hasn't chipped in to provide for his kid. UGH. Not a good feeling at all.