Monday, August 30, 2010

The Effects of Danny and Annie

His parents have been divorced for ten years, and before that shouldn’t have been married at all. “They met at a knife fight when she was 17 and he was 20,” he told me. “I’m pretty sure I was conceived in a parking lot.” It is not the sentiment of someone who really believes in marriage. I, on the other hand, grew up with parents who used to stand hugging in the kitchen when they thought no one was looking. I know marriage as a long-lasting, loving commitment. He knows marriage as a situation of convenience that wears off eventually.

“Can I show you something?” I asked. “This might be totally cheese ball, and you might make fun of me, but to me… this is what marriage is.” He pulled up Danny and Annie on his iPhone. I saw his eyes blinking in the glowing light of the little screen as we watched in silence. He let out a barely audible sigh of surprise when Danny says, “I walked in with you, I walk out with you.”

He told me he thinks this situation is so rare, and happens only when two people really settle and feel lucky to be with anyone at all. “I think you’re very wrong,” I said quietly. His face softened. He watched my eyes for a minute and I could almost see the thoughts churning in his head. And then he let his walls down, just a little, for me. “Or maybe that could be us,” he offers. “But I won’t die on you.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Tomorrow will be six months since we first kissed, so we're taking half days off of work to see a matinee, make love, and eat dinner at an unknown restaurant. (He's given me a hint, and I still can't figure it out. Pretty infuriating.) The weather will be gorgeous, so there will likely be hand-holding and strolls, too.

Then today it hit me.

Am I supposed to get him something...?

Not one to shy away from the direct approach, I asked.

me: are we doing gifts?
A: um...nah
well, I didn't get anything
let's save that for a year?
me: neither did I, haha
so you see yourself with me for a full year, huh?
A: um, if I am that lucky
me: I just love you
A: I love you too

Decision made.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Putting a Label on It

It's first thing in the morning. I took a shower, I got dressed for work, and I crawled back into bed. He breathes heavy beside me. When he finally rises, I'm drifting in and out of sleep myself. I hear him laugh. My eyes creak open. "You laughing at me?" He's grinning. "I love waking up with you."

Half an hour later I'm ready to go. He walks into the bedroom and notices the TV on. He's grinning again. "I did it," I announce. "I figured out your ridiculous TV." "You're so proud. And cute. Cute and proud." And happy. I am so happy.

Ten minutes later he's packing his bag. One more grin. "Do you like me?" he teases. He doesn't know that the joke calms my nerves. That now it's absurd to even suggest a doubt.

When we're out in public together he is openly affectionate. His co-workers know we're dating. The bartenders at the club he performs at are starting to recognize me. He tells me, "You are the only woman I spend my time with."

I should feel so good about us. Until I hear it. "Hey Matt, this is my friend Lauren."

Labels shouldn't matter. But this one does.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I want you so bad I'll go back on the things I believe

E. turned me into someone who has preemptively ruined everything that could be important to me in the future. I was a rebound. He had her the whole time, tucked away deep in his heart while I was chiseling away at the edges.

He creeps into every relationship I've had, as if I'm dating him over and over again. I let men take on his qualities and kill them for it when I start to get attached.

I can let him ruin me again.

Or I can let this be the time I say goodbye to him for good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


His flight lands in one hour.

Four days in two new cities.


I cannot wait.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Caught Between a Rock and a Soft Place

The Comic: brutally honest. Blatantly affectionate. He's been telling me who he is since day 1. Like it or leave it. But I like it. It hasn't always been easy. We both try and explain ourselves all the time. "I hate being told what to do," he says. And I counter with, "I'm not changing who I am for you." Neither is asking what the other is contesting. But we're both afraid that if we don't say it, we won't get it. He could be the passionate love of my life. Or he could split my heart open and crush the pieces.

The Hometown Boy: I hadn't heard from him since I was 19 years old. We had drinks on Tuesday and it was perfect. We can go on for twenty minutes, talking in pure sarcasm, and then talk about gay marriage in the most serious tones. "I think someday people will look back on the gay marriage issue like we look at segregation," he said. I was shocked. I use that line all the time.

HB has started texting me. I thought maybe there was an off chance he asked me to drinks as friends. But today he promised to bring me back cookies from our hometown grocery store the next time he's there. I guess we're not friends.

TC is intense as ever. He's all "baby" and "I miss you" and about to move into my neighborhood. He could be someone important to me. But how will I know with the "perfect on paper" HB hanging out in my periphery?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

thin ice

Everything seems smooth and clear. You're gliding along without a hitch. And then you get to the middle of the lake. And realize. You've been skating on thin ice. Maybe it holds. And you make it to the other side. Maybe just a single hairline crack will bring destruction in its wake. Maybe you trod on a twig when you first started off. Maybe there are tiny ridges, unseen, but inevitable, coming up. Maybe. Maybe not.

Because sometimes things seem too perfect. And at the back of your mind, you know. You know you're skating on thin ice.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


It was a Saturday. I hadn't seen him since Tuesday, and everything was going so well. I couldn't wait.
"Do you want to meet me and some friends for a couple drinks in the afternoon?"
He couldn't make it.

Eight o'clock. I was drunk. I don't even know how it happened. The hours in between when I left the bar and when I showed up at his apartment are a blur. I can't remember what I said or how it became a huge, escalated, blown up fight.

The tension in his room was too much for me. I huddled against the wall, awkwardly perched under a frame, my head swimming with tequila and my heart hurting from the space between us. "Lauren, this is too hard. We're not even together!" I couldn't cry in front of him but I saw it happening again. I was losing another one.

"I don't understand what we're even yelling about!" I screamed back. All I wanted was to hug him. It had been four days since I'd hugged him and now all of my ugliness was on full display. I was trying to say all the things I thought he wanted to hear but it was like trying to talk under water. I couldn't think straight, I couldn't see straight, I could barely form coherent sentences.

"I can't believe you were going to meet my friends like this." I was suddenly aware that my makeup had all melted off. My hair was a tangled mess. "Your eyes are all bloodshot, you can tell you've been crying." But I hadn't been crying. I was drunk. And I was so embarrassed.

"Part of me wants you here and part of me doesn't want you here at all," he said quietly. I stood awkwardly in silence for a few more moments, trying to think of what to say. I should have walked out. But the last thing I wanted was to walk out without him.

"Tell me what to do," I said. But what I needed to do was crawl back in time six hours. I had let too much slip. I had told him how terrified I was to let myself care about someone and how easy it is for me to tumble into head-over-heels territory. This was the second time I had embarrassed myself like this. The conversation got heated again, and once more I yelled out that I didn't understand how this argument had happened. We were going in circles.

"Okay, now you have to go." I spun on my heel and slammed the door behind me. Every nerve in my body was trembling as I raced home in a cab. I arrived at my front door. I had forgotten my keys.

An hour later I sat outside a friend's house, waiting for her to come home. I got a text. "I wish you were here with me. I miss you."

I feel like the sad girl, like the messed up girl, like the girl who lets all her baggage get in the way of happiness. I just don't know how to break out.