July 1, 2007
parades and such
I fear this won’t be all that cohesive tonight, but I’m guessing you don’t really come here for the cohesion. I spent a night this week in Northern Virginia with two friends, drinking and smoking more than a former first soprano ever should. After the staple conversation about work and yet slightly more about work, the topic turned to relationships as it seems to do for both those betrothed and those going home alone. Our exes. Our present engagements. For one of us, a seemingly perfect mate snapped away too soon.

I feel hugged and loved and validated each and every time I’m with these two crazy cats. One, a woman with whom I relate on an emotional level, a southern girl who has talked me through more than one bout with self-flagellation with wise words and several glasses of Pinot. Another, a man who I love dearly, a poet with such passion who I beg will find a niche for his voice. We know each other. We have known each other. They have seen me at my proverbial worst: frizzy hair, mismatched outfits, hangovers, regrettable relationships, the shaky voice that at times sneaks out when I’m speaking in meetings. They know well my cynicism, from people who approach you on the street to children being born into this world who may actually be well behaved. And although I know the intent was not so, but only to cover me with a blanket of loving caution, why, oh why is there always someone to rain on your parade?

My first memory of this phenomenon, much to the pleasure of the Freudians out there, traces back to my mother. I was 17 years old. I had been nominated for homecoming queen of my tiny New Jersey high school, a reward clearly not bestowed upon me for my looks but instead my ridiculous and likely irritating level of energy. The day of the awards I found myself nervous but excited about the possibility of being acknowledged by my peers, something I think most of us would have enjoyed in an age of headgear, growing breasts and awkward kissing. But that day I had done something wrong. I had transgressed in some minor way that I don’t actually recall at this moment, but one which clearly had my mother in a tizzy, ready to make me pay. We yelled. She handed down the punishment. And I had to engage in some ridiculous compulsive series of chores before I was allowed to attend the pep rally for which I had waited so long. I cried so heavily on that 1990 evening that you can still see the swelling in my eyes in those pictures. The ones in which four of my guy friends are carrying me up to accept the crown. Could she not have kept it to herself? Was this not my moment?

And so it went the other night in my first discussions about The Boy. With my every passing word of excitement, the friends used their words in a most interesting way.

He said what?

The two of you have planned to do what?

And you’re thinking that what?

I was the 17-year-old girl once again. Are you really going to make this more about you than about me? Can we not just sit over drinks and listen to one another’s latest tomfoolery and newest dreams? I am 33, right? A woman of my own devious devices, a totality of years of lessons learned via therapy and failed and semi-successful relationships as well as those that simply crashed and burned? A compilation of chapters written over a young, full life?

I focused on my beer and yet one more round so I wouldn’t obsess over their vocal reservations. No, I have not known him as long as I’ve known my mother; sadly, his womb was not available in 1973. But sweet baby Jebus we can spend more time together than most human beings can with themselves and laugh even more than those monkeys that always look like they’ve had too many screwdrivers. We are two human beings not looking to be completed, but those already complete looking to share that very state with one another. There are times when you feel like you’ve known someone, friend or lover, for your entire life, and wonder what exactly your many years looked like before his arrival. Remember that connection of which I once wrote?

I know that you love me but, sweet friends, this moment isn’t about you.

Know that what is mine is mine, from each and every joy to each and every misstep. If you haven’t realized this by now, regardless if it’s about men or career failure or the time you became fashion road kill on 17th Street, support and happiness are always more meaningful when not preceded by a “but.”


Blogger whoorl said...

I simply can't wait to hear all about him at the end of this month. xoxo

Blogger Melina said...

I know how it feels to expect full support from your friends and then them not taking the leap of faith. My husband and I married about 7 months after we started dating--you don't even know what the conversations/concerns that everyone decided to rain on me were like.

Just focus on how you two feel, and everything will be perfect!

Blogger playfulinnc said...

The women who were at my wedding were all there for our huge break-up. There's a great story in a great journey, and as neither of us is perfect, our story fits. The friends that watched it love us more for being normal.

Blogger brookem said...

funny how when we don't receive full support from our closests, it can really affect how we feel about things. enjoy the time with your new guy, and do what makes you feel happy!

Blogger mysterygirl! said...

Blech. I'm sorry to hear that. You're self-aware-- I'm sure you've thought through all the "but"s and "what if"s yourself already. What you came to them for is to share your excitement. They should know their role. :)

Blogger Tracy Lynn said...

People often can't just keep it to themselves, and sometimes that is good, sometimes not. This time, not so much. Try not to let it wreck your time with Boy.
I find that the only people who truly know what goes on in a relationship are the two people in it.

Blogger Kristin said...

He sounds hot. Mr. Hottie hotness. Go for it.

Blogger bandick said...

I can totally relate. The break-up with PJ McFuzzybottom prompted several unwanted, and unnecessary, opinions. People were practically doing the happy dance before I had even started licking my wounds.

REALLY looking forward to being "introduced" to the mystery boy. The only thing I'm looking forward to, where dating is concerned, is finding someone who makes you feel like you should be sitting around talking about them with your buds.

I soooo can relate to this. I am afraid to share with most people because I KNOW their reactions...." What?" "Are you serious?" "But why?" Where is the support people.

Blogger supergirlest said...

go, you!!! you'll get no italicized what(s) from this kid! i only know you from blogdom, but you clearly aren't one to be swept away by fanciful fits of grandiosity and disillusionment...

Blogger Whiskeymarie said...

Having been both the giver and givee of advice such as this, all I can say is that you can't win.

You WANT them to agree with you.
You WANT them to be as excited as you.
You WANT them to keep their negatives to themselves...

The very things that make us love our friends (advice, protection, camaraderie) are usually the things that drive us nuts about them as well.
Do what you want. That's the important thing.

Blogger KB said...

omg most exciting post ever! I can't wait to hear more! :)

eeeek. call me or something!!

Blogger Amber Dalton said...

Hrm. I have no idea to keep this about you and not about me.

Is that a pun? I dunno.

I agree with whiskeymarie. I imagine the small slights will be forgotten, no matter what happens with yummy Boy, and you will be bestest buds forever either way.

Or you'll hole up with the aforementioned yumminess and decide friends are unnecessary.

It's a toss-up.


Blogger Sizzle said...

you are righteous.

i get it.


Blogger Jake said...

Little hurts more than when you have great news and someone you love and respect feels the need to question its legitimacy.

I've been feeling far too much of that lately. So sorry your friends couldn't be as happy for you as we are. Best wishes, Kris, always.

Blogger Jorge said...

I wish that we lived near each other.

I'm very excited about your news, and I'm hoping to hear more about it soon.

You've seen me in an Apron. Live and in living colour. I don't do that for just anyone, you know.

Talk soon, Krystal McGee.



Blogger Kelly said...

I wish you lived nearer to Jorge too.

See? That's about you!

Blogger Freewheel said...

I think motive is important. Are these people sincerely looking out for you, or are they raining on your parade because they're jealous of your happiness?

Blogger Zandria said...

I'm feeling you. But the most important thing is that YOU know it's right. They're not there with you all the time when you're with him, so they can't fully understand the connection you two have. If you continue to do what's right, they'll come around. :)

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