It’s supposed to get easier right?

It’s supposed to get easier right? After it gets harder. Ah. Hiatus. The kind where you talk to yourself and swear off everyone. I’m back. No bigger understanding or gig. No greater outlook or resolution. Just writing. Reading. Learning. Every day I learn something new about myself. Today, I ran over a steep curb and scratched the right side of my car. I learned I shouldn’t drive with too much on my mind, or I learned that curbs should move. Anyway.

I started to remember something about someone who made a bigger impact on my life than I ever realized he did. That is, until now.  This will be one of those “you never know what you have ‘til it’s gone,” with a twist stories. I won’t tell you what November it was because my memory won’t tell me, so there have you, but it was a November. I was dating by far one of my favorite people and I was pretty young. I remember being really happy about it all at once, sort of overwhelmed. The newness, the gentle pressure that that newness has. I was going over for Thanksgiving dinner and I had no idea what to expect. This was exciting because we had a lot in common, we laughed a lot. He liked to drink which was most of the fun times I vividly remember now, although I was tipsy and acting “overly cute.” I could slap the me I was then.

The first time we went to an upscale dinner together was with my co-workers. Yay for me and this gorgeous man of mine, I thought as I’d been raving about him for so long to all of my colleagues. I had it so bad I’d even put his picture (one he didn’t know I had because I’d found it on his MySpace back when MySpace was more popular than Facebook) as my screen saver at work. Gosh, he was beautiful. Funny, win-me-over witty.  He preferred holding hands over the kissing too much– like men usually do. I liked that. We could get along with or without television, and the best thing about him was I liked the “me” I was when I was with him. I did no complaining because I was so busy being happy in the seconds. A person’s demeanor and attitude can rub off on you so quickly. So very quickly.

This guy had smooth to touch skin,  beautiful dark curly hair, and either had a bottle of an alcoholic beverage to his mouth, or his middle finger stuck up. What? I wasn’t that good of a girl always. Anywho. The dinner was great… he held conversation, he looked happy even if he wasn’t, and nothing embarrassing happened. Like I said great. But to this day the one thing I remember most was the way he smelled and what he wore. First, the man smelled like heaven. Heaven, heavenly things that skip on clouds and some type of weak your knees to need crutches,  yes the man smelled so good I had to beg myself not to act a damn fool. Yes. And two, he was well dressed. I’d had dreams of my Husband wearing linen. Why? I don’t know because I’m a “Restoration Hardware” –“Real Simple” —  “Banana Republic” typea girl. And because, well, because linen is the ultimate relaxed-beachy, let’s walk around the sunset a bit and talk about your goals type of wear. Whatever, it gets me gooey. And he wore an off-white button down with a pocket. He was, without a doubt, my dream guy in this outfit.

By the time dinner was over I had fallen in love about eighty-one times. He spoke when spoken to, unlike me jabbering off at the mouth any chance I could. He threw in a few impressive words and things he’d experienced, and he even gave me his light overcoat to keep warm as we were leaving. By the next time we ate a formal dinner, that November, I noticed a complete change. This setting was actually the real him. He was comfortable, not complacent like what I always fear, but comfortable. We were eating at his Uncle’s house, which was huge and decorated, and Thanksgiving was fancy enough. I liked his family an awful lot.

What I realized was that somewhere in the getting to know you process– dynamics change. Personalities change,  the things you love about a person—it all changes. What’s important is not if you love a person, but do you love the way a person changes and adapts? Do you love who a person becomes when they don’t know anyone is looking? Do you like someone who has only one specific goal all day? Laughter and drunkenness. Practicality was not my friend and I later found that the very things I loved about him were the very things I despised later. Ugh, and his breath. Too much alcohol gives you a “swallowed skunk” smell, directly after brushing your teeth-even.

What I’m saying is that the perfect picture turned out to be just an imperfect idea. I wished we could’ve remained friends. Unfortunately, I began to feel him pull back and went into save-face mode which is colloquial for childish—“you don’t call me I won’t call you…” and then, silence ate us up like a magic trick. That and the fact that I suspected he was dating another girl whose name happened to be Leilani. What were the odds? Quite high for me actually.

There is no perfect love that you hear people talk about. The only thing that a person can work to get better at is a reaction. A reaction to everything that happens. Because even if it lasts or if it doesn’t… the only thing you’ll remember is your partner’s reactions. Make them good ones. I sure haven’t.

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