Proposal?

Propose? How about I just want the man to not get complacent. Give me something to look forward to. Plan a trip, kiss my elbow, sing to me in an awful shower voice, what? I like my man fairy tale, but grounded. Oxymoronic, much like myself. How about I just want him to have a few morals, a good looking heart and a pumping smile—and maybe he can even be contagiously witty and apparently gonna drop down from some twinkling star right now.  This is the silliness I have come to.

I used to fake it, go on a first, second, or third date and priss and primp around giggling to things that weren’t funny, pretending to like what he liked. Then, when so many things went wrong in every relationship… I found it to be my fault. Ta-duh.

I was pretending to be what each person wanted and wondering why that wasn’t working out so much. I would politely appease him until I got what I wanted—which was a relationship in most cases, and then when he eventually turned out to be not exactly what I had in mind… I felt so disappointed I ran off to the next victim.  I probably hurt a lot of feelings this way.

I should know better, and would have if I had only listened to my first mind— as soon as ole boy wasn’t “as interesting” or went over whatever “imaginary limitation” I should have not had in the first place…  I should have chosen to, then, get to know him as friends only. Of course, I did not.

This led to time wasting and although I’ve gotten to know some characters that inform my current nonfiction characters… I could not, would not, and should not say that I regret dating a man that worked at the mortuary, a dispensary, or was a brain surgeon, a banker, a federal officer, a lawyer, a barber, a telemarketer, a philosopher, a teacher, and there was of course… a sandwich artist.

***I’m taking applications for a chef, pilot, painter, massage therapist, or private trainer, or ridiculously interesting writer… I feel that each of these professions could inform my work and, ahem, characters right now… please inquire, stat!***

But actually, the thing that I had in common with everyone was that I pretended to love who they were, and pretended to love the “self” I was when I was with any of those particular people… when I hadn’t realized the self I am and should love when I am alone.  I also found that I couldn’t “pretend” to love “Oldies but Goodies” the way that some inherently do, anymore than I couldn’t pretend “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” wasn’t my favorite show, or Pop Rocks wasn’t my favorite candy as a kid. Still is.  There was something about counting on Mr. Rogers doing the same exact thing at the beginning and end of every one of his shows that drove me absolutely nuckin futs. Love. at first… compulsion.  He was neat and tidy, and … gave you the illusion that everything was going to be alright. Same went for a lot of more serious issues. Today if someone I was dating did the same thing day in and day out, I’d be as good as a narcoleptic mid-sentence.

Each one of my past “doormen” –since I’ve yet to say I’ve found a complete happiness in anyone—I am happy to have met. They all became complacent in many ways. They began to speak disrespectfully, negatively, condescendingly, or they stopped helping around the house, they gained weight, or stopped flossing and I could see the yellow cheese on his teeth, or they smelled like neck sweat, or over zealous jealousy. Ewkk! = Complacent or just plain irritating.

Yes, I may have become the true version of myself after a certain amount of time, but that only accounts for half of the problem when my partners in the past have turned into slothful, lackadaisical, disrespectful, and less presentable gentlemen and the like. Yes, I can say it takes two, it takes two… but it really takes four.

It takes all of who you are before you know a man—to be brave enough to show him who you really are, were, and think you will become, and it takes all of who you find yourself becoming after you meet a man to be great enough not to lose yourself in the midst and attempt to not become complacent after you have him. In the famous quote from the movie Love Jones:  “All of these people running around here jumping, skipping, falling in love…falling in love ain’t shit. Somebody talk to me PLEASE about how to stay there.” It takes both of the other person’s two people to be present as well. Same for him. All of his/her people need to get to know all of your people. I rarely open up to people who think their own past isn’t very important. It is the reason you have become who you have become and if I want to get to know that person, any further.

At one point I found it so freeing I’d begin my first date conversations like so:

“Hey, so I’ve got a kid I had when I was 15, wayward hobbies, huge goals, not a lot of time, and I have a few school deadlines, please don’t waste my time and you’re cute… what’s your name again?”

In this way I was more myself than anyone else… but I’d much rather be pursued and lot less snappy.

I finally realized that hey… if there’s a great chemistry and it starts off solid then dwindles… it’s ok to let it do that, because a chemistry that dwindles was “created” inside of my head, or sometimes even simultaneously created inside of “his head” coincidentally at the same time because we may have both wanted the same things at that moment in our lives. But a chemistry that is distinctive and deep-seated will happen on a day when I’m too tired to put on my professional cute voice, or I have a flat tire in the rain, or I’m catching the flu and didn’t notice him at all. Hence the saying “you’ll find when you aren’t looking.” Or better that chemistry will cause the relationship to never reach the complacency stage, and I’d lose for whatever other valid reasons. Sometimes it’s just not enough solid connection as a foundation to start and you don’t realize that until it’s far too late.

It’s important to continue to value the friendship you originally had; the conversation and the chemistry. When things aren’t so sugar-cinnamon, these will be the days you look back on. Just be sure that when you look back at a failed relationship, that you look back and make those improvements to yourself.

-Sincerely,

Work in progress

picture by meaghano
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