Thursday, 13 March 2014

So I Turned Down a Free Trip to Paris and Damaged My Arse

My my, there's been so much happening the last few days, I'm not sure where to begin. I would say lets just dive right in, but I'm not one for that kind of thing (as you'll see later in this post), so I'll begin with how I broke my arse.

Well, I didn't really break it but I did put a sizable dent into it. Last Thursday I went to a masquerade ball with the boyfriend. The sole purpose of our attendance was because I have always wanted to go to one and wear the beautiful mask that Kell Bells brought me back from her trip to Venice, and like a fairygodmother, the boyfriend seems to be on a mission to command my every wish.



It was a wonderful evening but I might have had a little too much wine. As I was going back into the hotel after having a cigarette outside (and receiving very strange looks from people walking by on the quays), I attempted to make my way down a massive flight of stairs. Perhaps it was the alcohol, perhaps it was the fact I was wearing very high heels now slick with the rain from the pavement. Either way, I did not descend the stairs. I fell and tumbled down them with the grace of a boulder.

A lovely bouncer rushed to my assistance to make sure I was okay, but alcohol and mortification dulled the pain that I could register, but chose to ignore in the region of my coccyx. It was not until the next morning that I noticed a truly massive bruise on my derriere. It's like I've been hit with a paint ball containing various purples and blues. I also was walking like John Wayne for two days and looked like a flailing turtle when trying to roll over in bed at night.

I then met the boyfriend's parents for the first time last weekend. As I made my way out on the DART, I was filled with the same panicky fear I had when I was 16 and I'd been caught doing something I shouldn't have been doing. I attempted to calm myself with music, but this proved impossible due to a very loud domestic occurring in the seats next to me. It was really a one sided domestic, with the woman yelling profanities and insults in ever increasing tones and by the time I reached my destination, I had a comprehensive knowledge of their his faults and their relationship. Amusing for me, not so much for him.

As we approached the house, I tried to block the thoughts in my head. "What on earth are you doing?! You don't do this! And you SAID you weren't going to get into a serious relationship anytime soon!". My last serious relationship ended over a year ago and while I have enjoyed the world of dating and romance since, I haven't felt the need to enter into a relationship. I've actively tried to avoid them.

In my last relationship, I gave so much of myself to the person I loved. It is natural when you care about someone, that you make sacrifices for them. But upon reflection post-break up, I could see I had given too much of myself. I had shaved and smoothed the rough edges of "me", I forced myself to be okay with things that I wasn't really okay with. It wasn't his fault, it was mine. But as I put my shattered pieces back together (for I did truly love him and though I can see we don't work as a couple, I'll always care for him), I realized the need to focus on myself and try to learn and accept who I am.

It's been a wonderful process. I love the freedom and the time spent alone (yeah, that's an MGMT reference). After my annus horribilus in 2013, as I recover from the difficulties, I feel myself growing as a person. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with the boyfriend and he is a really wonderful man. But "us" is not something I was expecting.

The whole "meet the family" scenario went well, with limited awkward moments. It was with a sense of pride that I got into the boyfriends car to head home later that night. I had managed a (unexpected) sit-down dinner, drinks, post-dinner conversation and even a family board game. My inner commitment-phobe was astounded at such progress.

During the car ride home, the boyfriend and I laughed about how quickly things are progressing for us (we'll only be going out a month tomorrow). We've met each others families, we've met each other's friends, we attended our first formal social occasion as a couple - and he had plans to take me away this week.

It was the latter point which became a source of contention as we drove across the motorway. While he had informed me, vaguely, that I needed to be free from the Tuesday to the Thursday of this week, that was the extent of my knowledge. It was all meant to be a surprise, which sounded exciting when he first said it to me, but the excitement was overtaken by worry as the trip approached. Maybe it's because I was overwhelmed by the events of the day combined with our seemingly fast-track to our "serious couple" (I broke into a little sweat even writing those words), but I could not shake the feeling that this was a bad idea.

I felt as if everything was happening so very quickly and we were skipping over the foundation steps that lead to such milestones. I mean, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact I have a boyfriend, never mind going on a holiday with him. I attempted to pump him for information in the car, to no avail. When he dropped me off at my house, he knew I was annoyed that he wouldn't tell me anything about the trip.

A while later, he text me telling me that a flight would be involved. My response may have involved a WTF vibe. He said we were going to the Aran Islands via flight from Galway. It's a good thing that we were having this conversation over text. I went down to my Mum to have a mini-meltdown.

"The Aran Islands? The Aran-Fucking-Islands?!" I said to her. "Does he know me at all?!"

                                        This would've been me. Except with a bottle of vodka.
                                                        Photo: mainistirhousehostel.com

I've never been to the Aran Islands but a quick bit of investigating on Google informed me of a few things: the main activity to do while there is a bicycle tour of the island (I can't cycle, boyfriend is a devoted cyclist), take in the beautiful scenery (it is beautiful but not three days worth of beautiful) and go speak Irish with the locals in the one of two pubs on offer. Also, B&B's are the main source of accommodation and I cannot stand B&B's. I am aware that all of this makes me sound very pampered but in my defense, I know what I like and who I am. And I am not a girl who feels the need or desire to spend three days on an island with only the promise of vodka as my source of entertainment. Also, I literally own no appropriate clothes for such a trip.

Hit fast-forward and the next day I'm informed that he was only messing when he said we were going to the Aran Islands (brave man to wind me up when I'm mad) - we were going to Paris.

Paris. As in France. As in a whole other country. I was worrying about us going on a holiday to a province in Ireland - not a whole flaming other country. I felt dreadful as I told him there was no way I could go. I felt it was too soon for us to be going away anywhere together, never mind to the romance capitol of the world. I wasn't comfortable with him paying for everything for this trip and as I didn't get much notice about our destination and I'm not loaded, I wouldn't be able to contribute much. I get uncomfortable when he buys me dinner. We're not at that stage where he tells me "We're going to Paris!" and I am delighted and excited and begin planning what to pack.

Instead, we're at the stage where I know I'm not ready for this and I don't think "we" as a couple are. I very nearly went, just so as not to rock the boat. But I couldn't. I wouldn't force myself into situations I'm uncomfortable with again to please the person I'm in a relationship with.

                                                          I love Paris, but it's not the time...
                                                              Photo: dentons.com 

He was disappointed, naturally, but said he understood my decision. I still felt horrible and guilty and ungrateful. I think it's such a beautiful and caring thought to want to whisk me away to Paris, but it's a thought that needs to wait for our relationship to catch up before it can become a reality. We've begun to make tentative jokes about it, which I'm taking as a good sign.

At the start of the week, I felt completely tapped out. Part emotional wrangling and part this is a step in the recovery process. Articles that needed writing, things that needed to be done were halted. I am a very driven person but for the life of me, I could not muster up the motivation to do anything except watch The Little Mermaid and smoke my Marlboros. Which is what I did and discovered a)Disney movies are even more enjoyable than when I was a child b)I will never stop wanting to be a Disney Princess and await the day when I will have a crown and c) Such movies are greatly enhanced by being able to smoke cigarettes because you are an adult.

By Tuesday, I was annoying myself with my demeanor. So I kicked myself in the arse and yesterday was one of those truly, great, wonderful days. I am back contributing to my former online magazine which I had to give up as my work increased in my other job. It is currently in the process of being revamped and I am excited to be part of this new phase. I provided breaking news coverage of the Harlem Explosions yesterday for the new website I also write for, krank.ie and I was proud with what I achieved with no wire service, but just a laptop a smartphone and determination. And also, the ability to ignore the need to pee for an impressive amount of time as I didn't want to miss anything.

As I wrap up this lengthy post, I'm thinking about the short stories I'm going to work on this afternoon and other writing assignments, before I head out to see the boyfriend later on and give him his birthday present. His birthday isn't actually until the weekend, but he's going to Wales tomorrow on a rock-climbing trip so I'm giving it to him early. Again, my inner commitment-phobe marvels at my progress.

Until next time, dear reader.

Mucho Love,

Vicky xoxo

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