it’s complicated

you know that facebook relationship menu option, “it’s complicated”? well, i am the poster-child (woman/whatever) for that status.

except i’m in relationship_s.

and they’re complicated.

my husband and i met in 1989,  20 years ago this year. 3 or 4 years later we got married. not my idea, seeing that i never had dreams of a white dress and walking down the aisle with some archaic, overblown organ music as accompaniment. (i needn’t have worried. i didn’t have any of that. a black flower print dress, a hat with a peace sign [no, it wasn’t the 60’s!], a sprig of bouganvilla, red shoes and 5 minutes with an officiating officer at the l.a. court house. that’s it.)

and we’re still married.

except for the minor detail that we’ve been separated and  living apart since 2003. now, even living on different continents.

yes, it’s complicated.

i got one of his frequent calls the other night and spent the next half hour talking to him and the stepdaughter, who just so happens to be only 4 years younger than me. in fact, i spent most of the conversation catching up with her and some of it talking with him about the fact that they were going to the opera with his “friend”. yes.  i worry about him and i hope that he’s doing ok, though i think we are better friends now than ever, even if our days as husband and wife are over. i think there’s something about time spent together and experience shared (except for abuse – or maybe, including abuse) that creates a bond which is eternal.

i think i can honestly say that i’ve been in relationshits most of my life. i’ve never known how to make a relationship work. i’ve never had any good examples. most of the people i know who are still together either cannot stand each other  or are together despite – or maybe even in spite or out of spite. cupids flying overhead and lavish, mind-blowing ceremonies are no guarantee that  couples stating their vows, will keep them. i’ve seen so many destined for eternity relationships dissolve like the wicked witch at the first watery drops. and then yes, one is left in the unenviable position of mediating or even worse, having to carefully monitor invitation lists to make sure the formerly inseparables are never in the same place at the same time.

anyway, to get back to the plural part of my relationships…

after my husband and i separated, i burned through a few hot, younger (i had to beat off a few 25 year olds. no offence meant, but  sorry, not interested in giving lessons!), so soulful, charismatic, though mostly unemployed, burner boys, before i met my current, for the last almost 5 years, on-again, off-again significant other.

and i couldn’t understand his issues with the fact that i was still married.  for me, separating was all i needed to start reclaiming my life and since i never wanted to be married in the first place, i had no intention of marrying again, so why bother to get divorced when there’d be so many financial and legal entanglements which would need dealing with?

it’s only after the s.o. categorically stated his non-negotiables and after too many off-again periods that i finally get it. it’s only after time spent apart that i get that i, who have spent most of my life isolating, in a self-imposed solitary confinement, with the times not spent performing and center-stage, spent either alone reading, online or in my head, actually need to say the many things that have gone largely unspoken. i’ll often have an entire, extended response to something someone says and then realize i haven’t verbalized it.

it’s time to let go of the patterns which no longer serve (i no longer have to keep the secrets i did as a child), it’s time to speak out, to open up, to let go. there is an undeniable energetic connection created by the marriage between two people and i will not be able to move on completely, till that connection is legally severed. and i can finally acknowledge and understand the s.o.’s discomfort with being the “boyfriend”, instead of the “husband”. even though it’s not something which is important to me, because i care enough about him, i get that i need to make some changes. and it’s time to change the mantra that i don’t know how to do relationships. i can try. in fact, i’m going to nike it and  just do it.

time to un-complicate things.

(this post totally inspired by scott over at husbandsanonymous)

back on track… hopefully.

after almost a month of being ill, i can finally do a running update (strange synchronicity – the song playing in my itunes right now is “running” by eliane elias). 

after thoroughly medicating myself: antihistamine – check. nasal spray- check. inhaler – check. 50SPF sunblock to protect my already hyperpigmented face – check. buff to cover lower half of face – check. djkramer on ipod – check. heart rate monitor – check. water – check. (man i’m exhausted already!) i head for the track.

i feel like that fat guy from that funny show


the sun, at 9a.m. is already beating down, a breeze takes the edge off. i decide to attempt 8 laps, seeing that my lungs have been in such a state. eventually i manage 12.5 (5k’s), switching directions at 6. my time is surprisingly not as slow as my worst time, even though i take it really slowly. i have as audience the entire lions rugby team which arrives for practice while i trudge my way around the track even though running, like sex, is something i prefer to do in private. oh well. 

hey, once again, pure mind over matter. i mind, it matters, but i nike’d it. swoosh!

just done it!

well not quite. i did it yesterday – my first 5k, that is. 12&1/2 laps on the track. dj steveboy on my ipod nano, my old saucony’s with the inserts from my shox. no more lower leg pain, but i am concerned that i have a newish pain just between the ball of my right foot and my arch – which is where i injured myself the last time i tried running, years ago – also wearing these saucony’s. actually now that i think about it – i wore the saucony’s on my previous run – yesterday i wore the new nikes.

anyway, the run went mostly well. lasz joined me on laps 5, 9 and 12 for inspiration. on the beginning of lap 12 though, i had what i think is exercise induced asthma. my chest suddenly constricted and i had trouble breathing. i slowed down, didn’t panic and managed to actually speed up for the last 1/2 lap, so all good. 33 min, 37 seconds, which kept me just under 3 min a lap – yes, i’ve been averaging 2m30s or so per lap when doing 2miles, but for my first 5k, i’m happy.

so yeah, just done it!

the usual suspects!


when i got my first email account in 1996 it was at aol and based on the first few letters of my name and last name plus the final letter combined. so i was

that lasted about a month before i moved over to earthlink and set up an account which i still have to this day, with a similar, but slightly modified spelling. 

now, on the other side of the world, i am having to set up a new account (not that i’m sure i’ll use it). i decided to stop being obscure and call a spade, well, a shoe… so, sandshoes@…, it is.

which brings me to my point. yes, yes, there is one, i promise.

sandshoes, when i was growing up, meant trainers. sneakers. plimsolls. according to the encarta dictionary: U.K. light canvas shoe: a light low-cut canvas shoe with a rubber sole

there were no nikes, reeboks, etc. you wore your sandshoes in order to run or exercise or if you were like me, you combined them with some slouchy socks and some or other funky outfit and you made a fashion statement a la cindy lauper or madonna. (god, am i aging myself here!)

then came the sneaker revolution – and countless ways to empty one’s bank account. decent running shoes, which are a necessity when you’re not just walking the treadmill once a week, cost a fortune, i’ve discovered. 

when i got to the track yesterday, 3 mozambican women i’ve seen working out at the track before, were warming up. i think i overheard one of them, who said her name is maria, mention to someone that she was training for the olympics. i stopped to talk to them about yes, you guessed it – sandshoes…

O.M.G.! i just, on a whim, googled MARIA RUNNER OLYMPICS – and discovered the following:  her name is MARIA de LURDES MUTOLA  and she is an OLYMPICS GOLD MEDAL WINNER! i am training on the same track as an olympic athlete! 

i’m not worthy! i’m not worthy!

anyway, to get back to my original point – like i said, yes, there is one! not having any idea who she was, i stopped and spoke to her and another runner about the fact that my feet and my lower legs have been hurting. they immediately pointed to my shoes. i’ve been running in nike shox’s and (i should have guessed she was someone of note when she said she was sponsored by nike!) she said that it was the shoes which were causing the pain. they suggested that i get nike pegasus running shoes, but when i went and tried them on at the store  that afternoon, they didn’t seem to be the shoe for me. the guy helping me eventually realized that he probably was not going to get a sale out of me and suggested that i go to a specialist running shop in randburg to get professionally fitted. so, i suppose a field trip is in order!

the run, b.t.w. sucked! i started out too fast i think and right from lap 1, all i could think about, was giving up. i could barely believe it when i made it to the end of lap 10, especially when i tried to speed up on that last lap, nearly ran out of steam about 1/3 into it and had to slog my way to the end. i managed to shave almost a minute off my last time, but it did not feel good. 

mind over matter. i mind. it matters. though hey, i’m JUST DOing IT anyway!