We’re kind of past the ‘how I met’ part of the story… so consider this and all future parts the ‘disappointing series finale.’ [à la himym]
Part 6 – The Love of Romance
Part history, part philosophy, all me.
Is love a miraculous thing that happens to us? Does the simple, effortless meet-and-fall-in-love-because-it-was-written-in-the-stars thing really happen [whether it takes hours, days, months, or even years]?
Or… do we meet the person with whom we want to fall in love so we spend time with him making it happen, whether consciously or subconsciously. And if it works – if we fit, if we feel selflessly connected and can’t imagine being apart – we fall in love. And if it doesn’t work, we don’t fall in love and we go our separate ways. [And my hopeless quest continues.]
With Glen and with David, I think we unknowingly made love happen. A connection was definitely already there [maybe that’s the written-in-the-stars part?], but it took time to fall in love. And we had that time. And nothing was forced. We let everything develop naturally because we didn’t even realize what was happening at the time. And it was beautiful.
For months, Glen and I were friends. [In fact, I had a huge crush on one of his best friends… and only a small one on him.] We never went out alone, until this one dance. But when he invited me to that dance, it was kind of magical. Everything started to change.
David and I met at the campus coffee house where I worked a few nights a week. [Yeah, me – at a coffee house… go figure.] He wasn’t much of a coffee-drinker, but he was always at that coffee house when I was there. We loved being together. We even started an alternative humor newspaper together. And one night in my dorm room while we were sketching out some comic strips, everything changed.
[Aside: I wonder how Glen and David would feel knowing how much blogspace I’ve given them…]
But with John… totally different. And I blame myself for that. Bitter and hopeless, and let’s not forget horny as fuck, I think I went all ‘girls-gone-wild’ too soon. I wonder if more time in the friend zone before jumping into the friends-who-have-sex zone would have made things turn out differently. Because we barely built on our initial connection before things turned physical. And I initiated, not him. It’s all on me.
We did connect, though. We fit… kind of. But I think some of it was wishful thinking because I was scared to be alone. And had we spent more time getting to know each other on the friend level, I would have had time to notice the things that were never going to be quite right.
Maybe I would have come to realize that he wasn’t everything I wanted and I shouldn’t settle for less than everything. I’m not saying I’m better than he is. He was some of what I wanted. Still is. He’s generous [often too generous for his means] and kind and smart and mostly responsible. He can fix almost anything mechanical or electrical or structural. He usually tries to make everyone around him happy [unless he’s in a crappy mood], but sometimes we have to tell him how to make us happy and that makes it feel forced and meaningless. He can be funny and he gets my often dark sense of humor. And he’s a good dad. But something is missing. And it always has been. I just got really really good at ignoring that.
Nowhere in my description of John up there did I use words like sweet or romantic or affectionate or understanding or even supportive. Oh, he has his moments of affection and understanding. But these just aren’t words that rush through my mind when describing him.
I’ve read countless blog posts from female authors extolling the amazing qualities their husbands or boyfriends possess – sweet, romantic, loving, attentive, gorgeous… the list goes on [sometimes on and on and on… and on]. Are these husbands and boyfriends truly this amazing?
I guess it’s possible or… maybe it’s facebookitis.
facebookitis /,fās boo k ‘īdəs/ noun
1. An affliction characterized by persistent declarations, whether true or not, of one’s perfect relationship, partner, or any other aspect of life while hiding anything imperfect so as to show all of one’s ‘friends,’ on facebook and elsewhere, how flawless one’s life is.
Honestly, I find it difficult to believe that all of these highly praised men as perfect as their descriptions imply. If there are so many men like this out there, why don’t we all have one?
Maybe reading this, you think I’m just jealous of these women with their apparently ‘perfect’ men. And I have no problem admitting… Damn right I’m jealous! I want that. I’ve always wanted it. And they supposedly have it. Of course I’m jealous! Hell, sometimes it feels like everyone on earth has the perfect relationship… except me. And I know that’s not true. If it is, please don’t tell me.
Oh, and the men. I’ve read posts from men wherein their adoration for their partners is clear. Even adoration for the partners they’ve yet to meet. And it’s beautiful and sweet and romantic and it’s something I’ll never read or hear from my own partner. These guys don’t even have to write something outwardly affectionate – I can just tell by the way by they communicate, no matter the topic. I have romance-radar.
I am the most romantic person on earth. John is… not. He never was. He never will be. And it breaks my heart because that has always been number one on my intangible list of what I want from love. And it’s one thing I don’t have and never will. I broke my own heart.
I don’t want cheesy, forced, phony romance that makes me want to vomit like every jewelry store commercial. I want… sweet, tender, affectionate, passionate, sentimental love… and not with gifts or even just words [but yes, words too… I’m a huge fan of words…], but with actions. [Many actions. Of all kinds.]
John used to do sweet things for me. But not the typical storybook gestures. No. I remember him coming over to my apartment to get rid of a dead mouse my cat left behind in the middle of the kitchen. Very sweet. [And very appreciated. I am not fond of dead rodents. Or live ones.] Sweet. But not conventionally ‘romantic’.
I sometimes think that if I’d truly given the mostly-missing romance the consideration it deserved, I may have let John go. Or maybe I wouldn’t have. I’ll never know. I think I wanted to fall in love so badly that I subconsciously convinced myself it was happening.
I was afraid. Scared to death that John might be my last chance at love… my last chance at a long-term relationship. I thought throwing him away would be the stupidest decision on earth. He was a good guy. He wasn’t the fantasy… but I never believed that man existed. Even if he did, I’d never find him. And I didn’t deserve him. And he’d never want me anyway.
I blinded myself. I slipped into denial about our middling level of chemistry. I don’t know how. I didn’t even know I was doing it. But after all the failed attempts at finding love, I thought it was a miracle anyone wanted me at all. Tired, bitter, used-up me.
No matter how loud the screams were in my heart and in my fucked up head, I pushed my romantic dreams aside. I locked away pieces of myself in some hidden part of my brain… of my heart. But they’re not gone. They will never be gone. And now, all these years later, I just cannot keep those parts of me hidden anymore.
There’s a reason I’m a [sadly, unpublished] writer and a reason for what I write. I write what is missing from my life. Which, unfortunately, is romance – psychological and physical. [Unfortunate that it’s missing… not that I write it…] I write about the kind of love I always dreamt of… but do not have.
Maybe I was stupid not to wait for that dream to find me… or for me to find it. But that dream is a ridiculous fantasy. It’s a Disney movie. It’s not real life.
God, please don’t tell me. It may break me to know.
Part 7: Let’s Go to Bed
[part 7 will likely be the final post in this series…]
Update – now posted:
Part 7 – Let’s Go to Bed (the final chapter)