Monthly Archives: August 2011

High School Heart

Next Day’s Note: Um…I was pretty buzzed when I wrote this…so just bear that in mind as you read…

 

A couple weeks ago I went to the movies with my friend for the first time and he handed me my ticket stub. “In case you want to keep it,” he joked.

And I shrugged it off. “I don’t keep ticket stubs,” I said while both rolling my eyes and pocketing that stub for safekeeping.

A few days later I was going through my pockets, my purses, my wallet searching for that stub because I hadn’t meant to, but I lost it, and that really kind of made me sad.

It made me sad on two accounts. For one, OK, yes, I’m a cornball. I like this dude and I wanted to keep the damn ticket stub in spite of myself.

But it also made me sad because it made me grieve for the part of me that my actual romantic experiences have stomped out: the part that sees an..er..excursion with a guy I like as the potential for something that I would one day want to look back on step-by-step; something I would want to have mementos, tokens, cataloging how it developed.

Life experience has made me very aware of the fact that the way I would ideally like to function in romantic situations is very…ineffective.

See, I grew up on Disney and The fucking Notebook. Everything was special. You kept all that shit because everything was special. You had a little box full of his notes and your ticket stubs and you looked over them when he was away and you swooned. This is the shit that was in my head when I started dating.

And what happened?

That’s what happened to my heart.

Fuckin knocked over.

So I accept that. I can’t deal with these dudes like that–I can’t go into this with an open heart and hopes for what we could be. I have to detach; I have to date multiple dudes at the same time; I have to accept that we could be having a great time together or whatever but he could just be on that bullshit. Or shit, so could I. I can’t meet a dude, decide he’s wonderful, fill my third period notebook with doodles of my married name and sketches of my wedding dress and our seating arrangements. I can’t be debating how many kids we’re going to have mentally and I can’t be naming them or telling myself that he can name the boys.

I get that.

But tonight, just tonight, I am grieving for that girl. I don’t want to give up the idea of meeting someone, being caught up in the flush and treating everything like it’s special. But I must.

Still, I wish I’d kept that ticket stub.

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Together but not Together

I was just sitting down to lunch with my friend T when I get a text from my mom.

“Do you want to go see ‘Wicked‘ in October?” she asked.

To which I of course emphatically replied “YES!!!”

Of course I want to see “Wicked”–this is par the course for sure.

My mom then replies “OK. Do you think your friend will want to come?”

…and here is where I’d like to pause.

Judge me if you must: I have a new friend. Well, not a friend friend. A friend. You know what I’m talking about.

And my mom…I guess she knows now not to leave me to my own doings with guys and friends, because she has been trying her best to include him in things even though we have not been friends long enough for him to be included.

So I reply “I don’t really think that’s his thing. I’ll see if one of my girlfriends wants to go.”

So I told my friend T about the show and asked her if she wanted to go and she replied “You might have a boyfriend by then, girl.”

To which I replied, “…I don’t really think that’s what he and I are doing.”

“Even if you do everything else like a couple?!” she exclaimed.

“Yep,” I said. “I like this how it is. Why change it?”

“Until he starts to date someone else,” she said.

And I shrugged. Because if he wants to date someone else, what will a title do about that?

Maybe my perspective on relationships is a little skewed, but ever since I was a prepubescent girl, I have always wanted to be together but not together with someone.

In fact, that’s how I fell in love with my first love. We would talk on the phone every night. We went on a couple dates. He would have girlfriends. I would have boyfriends. But we both knew what it was between us.

I have a hard time with “shoulds,” and that’s what a title-bearing relationship is to me: an ass bag of shoulds. It’s the difference between renting a car and owning a car. Of course you love your rental–what’s not to love? I get to ride it till the wheels fall off, I get to stunt–get the make and model and color I want (and I did, bt-dubbs), and I get to take it back immediately if it starts acting up. Not. My. Responsibility.

So if I get the floors vacuumed, that’s my choice. If I choose to lovingly hand wash that bad boy and turtle wax it, that’s my choice. If I decide to take it for a tune up or an oil change, that’s my choice. Those are my choices that I make because I’m enjoying the ride and I want to keep stunting.

But they are not my obligations.

I told my friend T, “You know the minute he asks me to be his girlfriend I’m going to get mad at him, like ‘Remember 3 days ago when I texted you and you didn’t reply for four hours?? I’m your girlfriend now and I have the right to demand what the hell were you doing!!!'”

And we cracked up because it’s true.

Right now, he and I have no reason to fight about anything because we have no expectations of each other. Any nice thing he does for me is a treat. And if he doesn’t [insert random trivial thing that will end up being a relationship landmine], that’s fine too. Because I wasn’t even thinking about it. Because I don’t expect anything from him.

Right now, it’s working because it’s working. Neither of us has any sort of end line in site that we’re trying to pull the other one toward. He and I are just a steady stroll on the beach, kicking through the water, enjoying the breeze and the salt and the spray.