As best I can, I’m slowly moving on from the events of last week
. Given the current situation with the tripod, I feel almost like a main player in a Little House on the Prairie episode: time’s a wastin’, Half Pint. Can’t spare frettin’ over Nellie’s antics when the barn’s a burnin’.
Or something like that. Moving on seems to be where it’s at.
I am giving Kim
carte blanche here to leave the conversation and go to Hooters so she can control the urge to smack me upside the head. You gone Kim? Ok. Let us continue.
The weekend was fantastic, but was meant to be spent with him, so reminders were at every turn. Canceled wine bar reservations require one of the parties to call a hostess to take a rain check; changed baseball plans left me in the cheap seats trying to find our unused spots just down the third baseline. I was pleased with how well I made it through what all thought would be a much rougher ride, or as one friend imagined, me showing to happy hour wearing sweatpants, an event less likely than me giving birth. When I reached the weekend, I had accepted his sincere apologies, and as Jorge has so eloquently pointed out avec Canadian accent and some heavy real live maple syrup (God, Toronto, get over it
), I understood that this man handed my heart back to me. He didn’t stomp on it and smear it into the ground while speaking words of sacrilege about the Bon Jovi. Or worse, about Billy Joel. Or lastly my mother. But as of yesterday it still wasn’t okay. Because you know what nudged me in the night? That he never made it right. That, unlike myself and the others that I know that feel like they’re selling their souls to be better people, he didn’t keep his side of the street clean. It’s that he seemed to think that text messages and sporadic one-line emails would suffice. That dozens of hours of our connection translated into fewer than 200k of returned electronic space of little substance. It didn’t do us justice. Quite frankly, it didn’t suffice.
And I told him so. Because given that at times we seemed to share the same brain, I knew he knew it too. That even when not riding the church train, we owe people something more in this life. You can try to run from it, you can say that not calling her the day after a drunken lickfest is the way that people do it. But it isn’t the way you or I or we should be doing it. And this isn’t preaching. Plain and simple, it reeks of an era when we didn’t walk upright and beating your hairy chest wasn’t something done as a post-coital joke. You owe something more to the people who you choose to let into your life. Give them anything less than your best and you’re cheating yourself
– screw the him or her you’ve known for a month – of the opportunity to be something more than the guy next to you at the bar who drinks Bud bottles* and avoids his wife’s repeated cell calls.
I was well prepared for him to disregard my email, but I needed to be true to myself and share these unresolved feelings I’m describing, along with some candid sadness and just plain good old fashioned missing him. Only then would I be able to put this connection on the “fond memories” shelf, next to the very few other boxes that weren’t somehow tainted by poor behavior or unresolved everything
. I hit send and tried to go about my evening, still wondering where he was and if he’d read it.
And you know what? He did the very right thing. He stepped up. He opened up and let me see him again. He confirmed without meaning to do so that he was indeed the person that I thought he was, the person that I’d very much like to know again further down the line. So of course in that very instant I wanted to call him, to hear that familiar voice that makes my stomach swirl, to tell him I loved reading his words and my anger had faded and that I still really did think the world of him. Still adore him. Still have hope. Still and will miss him.
But apparently being a grown up isn’t just about doing only what you want in a particular moment (unless it’s the Cab Sauvignon I had this weekend, which my Trader Joe’s and yours will soon be out of if my paycheck is deposited promptly). Because following my heart in that moment would have involved hopping on a plane headed northwest and knocking on his door and jumping on his back and telling him that we’ve got something too good to let go. Smothering him with kisses and feeling my face on his shoulder and pretending as if none of this had happened.
But it did. And if things were to keep going as they were, I think we both know that we’d be in this very spot again in a few months. And with every failure, because the two of us would undoubtedly label these setbacks such, the chances of us pulling through would plummet. Because he and I are who we are right now
. And because no matter how deeply you love, how skillfully you skate around problems and laugh a full 23.5 of your 24 hours together, the issues down in the bowels of a relationship fight their way to the surface and come out with a yell, just like that awful, awful reptile baby in V. Not really what I’m looking for. There's work for both of us to do first.
I do miss him already. Still. I’m hoping now for space in our togetherness, simply because the "we" that he and I are is too precious to me. I would love for us to keep in touch, peppered witty emails and calls just to reach out here and there, looking further ahead to a time when he and I might reconnect after weeks or months or years spent in our own lives, evolving and working and heading off avoidance instead of accepting the familiar, the comfortable, the not so good for us.
Because should we both get there, I have no doubt that the results would be simply amazing.* Kim, you weren’t really supposed to read that far.
Labels: Relationships or the lack thereof