Wednesday, September 30, 2009

two and a half months

Two and a half months we dated. Two and a half months I didn’t write. Not a scribble in my journal, not a blog post, not a hand written letter, rarely an e-mail…. about “us”. We were “We” for two and a half months. I didn’t write, for fear of jinxing a love that felt all too real. I didn’t write because my awkward uncertainty could not be expressed on paper. I just didn’t know what I felt. I didn’t know what to describe or how to pin it all down into words. It hurt too much to write about the mixed up feelings, the fleshly fresh blood of a ripped open heart.. old places stitched up for good, never to be revisited.. well, he visited those places, those memories, those pains, those wounds. He went there, to love me. He went there to help heal the long festering sores. He began to teach me how to receive and he never asked for anything in return. He just wanted to love me, to protect me, to give me the things I needed most.
Two and a half months.. or so, give or take a few days. On September 11th, he whispered, as he held me tight, that he felt like a nerd, but he had to tell me it was our two month anniversary. Was he counting from the same day I was? Was he right? Two months? Maybe I’ll give him three. I squirmed in his grasp. I squirmed all two and a half months.. or so. Some days I longed for his face, for the safety of his embrace. Some days I was strong and decided I could do without him, my independence is important to me; other days I just wanted to know he was there… and he was, he always was.
Good morning texts and a “good night, my love” before bed. He claimed me. I’ve never felt claimed before.. I’ve never felt like anybody’s. He would call me “My Sweet” and I would tell him I didn’t know why but it made me uncomfortable. He knew why.. he would tell he that he claimed me. I was his girlfriend and he was so happy to have me… there, in that intimate place. I’d run away and he’d be there, he’d be waiting.
One week, one week ago, we broke up. One week ago, I decided I couldn’t sit still in his embrace, I felt selfish for loving him for the way he loved me, the way he gave to me, the way he was simply there in the midst of my emotional baggage. He’s still there, he told me so. He didn’t say, “I’ll wait for you” but he did say that he understood. I didn’t want to drag him through more of my loot until I was sure… and I am still unsure. It’s been one week.. it’s been harder than I anticipated. It’s been one week without his texts and his sweet messages and his “good night my love” ’s. I’m hurting. I’m in more pain apart from him than I was in it with him. I am still dealing with the same resurfaced wounds, but now without his arms to hold me in, to comfort me.
This vase has been broken. It’s been dropped many times. Each time I’ve carefully taped the vase back together, this time, although the vase hasn’t been dropped, old tape has been removed, one piece here and one piece there. The cracks are exposed and I’m left leaking out. When will the super glue come? Who will mend my broken places? Will I be restored, to be filled up and poured out… to truly receive love and to be able to give it all away? Maybe some day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Know You

“I know you.”

That line has always struck a chord with me. E. said it in the beginning after we’d just confessed that we loved each other. It was a warm, comfortable sentiment that hugged me close and made me feel like no matter what kind of psychopath I would inevitably turn into, he knew who I was at heart. No PMS or bad hair day could shake his knowledge of my life, my personality, my habits.

He uttered it four years later and it felt very different. Four years after the “I love you” and three years after the “I don’t love you anymore.” I had changed, I had grown up. I wasn’t co-habiting a tiny dorm room in rural Western New York. I was breezing into high-rise apartment buildings and rubbing elbows with models and Wall Street bankers in chic and urban Manhattan. Gone were the days of hoodies and excitement in the form of the Webster Fireman’s Carnival. Gone were the days when he knew me.

But we stood in the bar, sipping beers at the annual Christmas get together in my little home town, me trying too hard to look the part of Sophisticated New Yorker and him seemingly the same boisterous, pompous goof he had been in high school, and he made me feel like he could still see me. He made a joke about how much I eat. “You don’t knooow me!” I joked back. He grinned and his eyes narrowed and he said quietly and only to me, “I know you.”

E. used to say, “I like because, I love although.” It was eventually what broke us up. He knew me, but those little things he loved “although” must have been too much.

The initial weeks and months (and years...) of flirting and talking are fun, but I am a girl who lives for the moment when a guy knows me. When I become predictable. In addition to his inadvertent “we” comment last week, The LDC made another small step for him, giant leap for me statement. He called last night at 11. I was asleep.

“What time is it?”
“It’s… oh, it’s 11 there. I’m sorry, were you asleep?”
“Mmhmm… it’s okay.”
“You’ve been such a night owl lately, I forgot how early you usually go to bed.”

Whether he means to or not, he is getting to know me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Year of Maybe

MP and I once talked about her ushering in a "year of yes."* See, MP had read a piece about a young woman who decided to considerably lower her standards, which then led her to accept virtually any advance by the opposite sex. Not exactly the safest way of meeting of men (we are talking about any advance) but intriguing nonetheless.

Here is where I stand on the issue: I don't believe in getting rid of my standards entirely, no, because I recognize my worth. BUT- after having been strung along for the better part of this year by a guy whose intentions were never clear, leaving me hurt, or worse, feeling like an idiot, I see things a bit differently now.

When interested in someone, even if that person showed little to no signs of reciprocating, I would ignore other overtures that came my way. A self-imposed guilt. I realize now that I didn't owe that person anything, least of all my devotion.

Even though I still care about P, my former European bike boy and now coworker, I'm going to entertain other options if they come about. And they have. I went out for sushi and a drink with B, the middle school boyfriend. A guy asked me out at a cafe the other day, and despite not being fully into him, I might just go. Really, what have I got to lose?

My "year of maybe" starts now.

*A couple of months into her "year of yes", MP met the lovely D.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I asked him to help me with my Fantasy Football team.
I tried to describe my frustration and he told me it'd be easier if he could see my team.
"Send me your sign in info."
A user name, a password, he was in.
He wasn't reading my e-mail, or scrolling through my Facebook account.
This was just Fantasy Football.
But somehow it was close and personal.
It was password-status.

"I made some changes."
I was grateful for his help.
He went on about the players, the strategy, the nuisances of playing online.
"If the starting running back for Dallas is still injured at the end of the week, we should start Benson instead."

Stop. Butterfly, chest, stomach, twisting, one single word.


It was the least romantic, least conventional way he could've used it. "We" are not a couple. "We" are not dating. "We" are not even in the same time zone. But somehow one tiny, two letter word brought us that much closer.

All is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds

So here I am, about two hundred grand in debt, an average law student with no job and no prospects and a boyfriend who wants to talk talk talk it out. I know the realities, so now I can focus my job search. I can narrow in on something that truly interests me. Things work out. There's a reason for all of this. Speaking with the career office didn't tell me anything I didn't know already, right? Of course job prospects aren't good. Of course I knew the big leagues were out of the question now. Of course I know I won't be paying off my loans in two or three years. I should be excited about the fact that I can go directly into work that I was eventually going to do anyway. The goal was to save the world right? So this way I'll jump into it a few years ahead of schedule. I have a boyfriend who loves me, supportive family, you know things work out.

Yea. Can we just not talk about it for a bit now?
Come on, don't do this, you know I'm here for you.
Right. Yes. Of course. I love you too. I have to go to class now.
Come on, please, don't shut down?
Sorry, I have to go, it's getting late.

The dream vanishes before my eyes. No extra time to explore options. No cushy job that lets me dabble in different areas without really taking a plunge. No keeping my options open. The world is still my oyster. Except for this. And that too. And the other. Easy peasy just went out of the window.

Fuck you, Candide.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Secrets to Happy

I've been having a rough time lately. I'm torn between a happy, safe life in a small town with old friends and stability, and a fast-paced life of passion and turmoil and lofty dreams that'll carry me somewhere unfamiliar. But after going to a friend's wedding last weekend, I do feel optimistic about love. And then I found this:

Pancakes for breakfast are the secret to a happy marriage. (Pancakes for breakfast are the secret to a happy anything actually.)

And I felt even better.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Playing house

I hear the key and run (hobble?) to the door, sprained ankle and all. I get there just as he arrives. "Welcome home!!" He has brought flowers. I ask him about his day as I arrange the lilies in a vase. My roses in a little bowl. I have laid out tea. The little china tea cups, a dish of macarons. Didn't I do this with dolls once? I tell him about my day.

"What shall we do for dinner?" We walk to the grocery store. We buy a baguette. A bottle of wine, why not? We step on each other in our little kitchen. My hands smell like garlic. "Some more wine?" "I'll set the table" Spurts of conversation and a comfortable silence. I wash a spoon, feel the warm water trickle around my wrist. I read my book. I hear him moving around. I lie back on the slightly uncomfortable sofa. I look around. I close my eyes. Fragrance. Warmth. I hear him whistling a tune. I turn a page.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It was supposed to be so easy...

Let's call the past two weeks a lesson in expectation management.

Two lunches (both his initiatives) one joined by colleagues, one on a park bench on our own. A handful of after-work, work-related events (consisting of but not limited to) a farewell happy hour, a softball game, and a birthday gathering. Almost nightly gchat sessions, usually ending with my call for bedtime. Nary a longish phone call (one of those when you can tell the face of the person on the other line mirrors your own with its silly grin). One iPhone photo email of Velveeta cheese in the refrigerator section (long story) from him; one (jokingly!) snippy email in response to his lack of response to an offering of homemade banana bread from me.

I'm disappointed, but I completely understand where he's coming from. The hopeless romantic in me needs the overtures, but the pragmatist knows to give him his space. Fortunately for both of us, the latter has won out. I don't make excuses to visit him at his building; I don't send him a barrage of texts; I don't hang on him in front of people. But when I give him a piece of homemade banana bread at work on the sly, and he says nothing for more than 24 hours, it stings a bit. So what if it was slightly underdone?

He responded, and it was characteristically sweet. Still, I can't help but want to regress.

Wasn't it so much easier when a checked box meant certainty?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Be Here

“Is he worth it?”

The communication continues. Amplified. It is the loudest voice in my head. What would I wear to meet his parents? The most ridiculous thoughts cascade across my brain at the most inopportune times. He is exactly 2408 miles away. 3 hours behind. Light years away from my immediate world. But then at the same time he is everywhere. He buzzes away in my pocket while I’m on a date. His voice is tucked inside my purse while I’m at work. His words are on my computer screen late at night, early in the morning, somewhere in between. Go away. Stay. Stay there. Be here.

… is he worth it?