I Saw Your Eyes, And You Touched My Mind, Although It Took Awhile, I Was Falling In Love, I Saw Your Eyes, And You Made Me Cry
collected from this weekend...
I. Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:39 pm
Three of my friends took me out to dinner (and cupcakes) for my apparently three-week long birthday celebration. It was a nice dinner, the cupcakes were scrumptious, and we even took a leisurely walk along the beach to work off the cupcakes. Sometimes it's a pain in the ass to have friends who work in the gym.
What makes me sad tonight is the fact that two of my friends were casually talking about how their kids keep them up at night and how, at that age, it's hard to schedule these get-togethers all the time. It got me to thinking how I'm not even close to being settled down and how all this talk of raising kids is so foreign to me. I mean--I could understand the half-jealous/half-relief feelings I get when B. talks about being married and settled down. I've learned to separate my life from hers in terms of expectations. It's like her living in Georgia makes it not my problem because there's nothing I could do to match her. But this, these two friends live in the same area I do, are about the same age, and really could be me had I made different choices with my life.
I thought I'd be married by now. In fact, I remember writing a story in 4th grade about where I'd be in the year 2000. I would have been turning 25 so I wrote about how I'd be married with one kid already. Boy, was I way off the mark there.
Then, to compound it, I invited my one friend who I've kind of been going out with and kind of not. I felt bad for her because all this talk of being married and having kids probably made her as uncomfortable as I was. Neither of us have any clue where we're headed or even if we want to be headed anywhere. It doesn't help much to have friends talk about what a rewarding experience having and raising kids is.
The dinner was nice. The cupcakes were nice. And it was nice seeing all my friends again. I just wish the conversation had focused on another topic that wasn't so troubling for me.
After the first two friends left, the girl and I got to talking and she put up the theory that's really been blowing my mind all evening. All my life I've gone out with younger girls. Too young, she says, to even make the possibility of settling down a far-off idea. She thinks I choose people that I know I have no chance of marrying because I'm holding out hope for the one I really want to marry.
That colors every relationship I've ever had because now I think I'm doomed to always ask out people who aren't even thinking settling down and passing over those I could really build a life with. It just makes me want to really scream "what the fuck am I doing with my life?"
II. Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:37 pm
I talked about getting married as early as 19 when I was going out with Breanne, but that never materialized for a whole lists of reason. I talked about it again at 23 with DeAnn, but she was completely wrong for me. Ever since then it's like I look for people who I'm only semi-serious with on the off chance B. will leave that dumbass husband of hers. It's like I don't want to tie myself down to somebody I can't leave right away in case the one I really want needs me. I'm basically trapped in a situation where I'm holding out for the big dream while quashing all the small dreams I might have a shot at along the way.
I don't know if I really should be married by now. And, Miss Emily, I think you're right in saying that I shouldn't compare my life to how my friends are doing. Everyone moves at their own schedule.
But it hurts to know that the person I'm sorta seeing right now can see just how much I'll never love her enough to want to settle down with her, can see how much more I want somebody else.
And it hurts to know that I might have been free and clear to pursue other projects if I didn't think I had a shot at finally completing the masterpiece I started fourteen years ago.
Maybe if I'd never met her... I would have been better off because I wouldn't be so confused, so alone, and so pointlessly hopeful. I just wonder if one can ever be happy and hopeful at the same time.
III. Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:49 pm
The trouble is she's been married for five years now... and just as often as I'd advised her to leave him, I've also told her to work things out because it kills me to hear she's having a rough go of it. He's not horrible to her, he's not abusive. His main problem is that he's kind of boring and she sort of married down. He doesn't excite her and she was (or maybe still is) the most exciting person I knew.
I don't how much longer I can wait for her. She's 27 and I'm 32. I've been wanting her off and on for the last almost fifteen years. I really think we only have so much time left before it's just too late for us to ever work out.
IV. Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:57 pm
I'm not proud of it, but we went to Chicago this past July for her birthday... without her husband.
I think we're both clear about how we feel and what our responsibility is in our situation. Being together would involve breaking a lot of commitments--not to mention one of us changing their whole life around.
I don't know--I'm getting to the point where all the trouble might be worth it.
V. Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:12 pm
Good thing I can't smell because I do believe I might be catching a whiff of old-fashioned black-and-white morality stinking up the joint. LOL And here I was beginning to believe you really were open-minded as you seem to be. Who knew there was a weak link to you after all?
In my defense (not that what I do is defensible or even needs defensible), I struggled a lot with it. I came close to getting separate rooms or cancelling the whole trip entirely many times in the planning stages. In the end I decided it's not like it was a one night stand with a stranger, it's not like it's something I would consider do on a regular basis, and it's not like I was coercing her or tricking her into it.
We were both adults. We both knew there would be repercussions. We both knew it was a very murky path to be going down.
In the end, she's still the one person I've never let go of and we're still in each other's life in a capacity that doesn't quit fit "just friends."
I took a risk that I would get attached to her again... but, ultimately, I decided I've always been attached to her. You never forget your first real taste of love and I've been lucky enough to be able to hold onto her all this time. We can't let each other go, as hard as we've tried. There's always going to be this connection that's going to push hard choices in front of us and I really am at a loss as to how to solve that. Some days I'm really sorry our friendship causes so many huge problems for the other people in our life who may frown upon mistakes we've made in the past and mistakes we'll continue to make.
But I'm not sorry I went to Chicago with her. I'm not sorry at all. And I told her next time we're not going to wait another eight years to see each other--even if it means bringing him along or separate rooms or what have you. She's too important to me to go that long without seeing her.
VI. Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:05 pm
She can't have kids, sadly. Honestly, that's one of their huge issues. They were thinking about trying adopting but they talked it over and I talked it over with her. It was kind of clear that them bringing a child into the family at whatever age would be a band-aid on the problems between them. I advised and she agreed that if she thinks this marriage is worth saving then the two of them need to work on getting straight before even considering adopting.
That's what I mean when I say this is a complicated arrangement, if you can even call it that. Right now they're in a good place. They're working on fixing on some of the holes that they kind of refused to see in their first five years of being married. As for me, I'm kind of happy for her. She isn't as volatile as she was when she was having problems.
I mean it when I say I really want her to be happy foremost even if she chooses him. My hanging around to hope she breaks up isn't because I'm trying to break up the marriage for the most part and it isn't because she's keeping me on a leash. She's been more than helpful in giving me advice on the girlfriends I've had since she got married. Neither of us are really trying hard to fuck up our lives.
It's just that one of the first rules we've both committed to is that no matter what happens our friendship will never change. Her husband partly hates me because I'm still a big part of her life--not as much as I used to be, but definitely more than most people would be comfortable. I don't blame him for hating me for that. That makes things hard on him when you couple that with the fact she's really big on making sure no one's the boss of her. We both have that mentality kind of, that no one owns us and no one tells us what to do. That's why Chicago happened because she was going whether or not her husband liked it. I think she would have gone even if I had tried to back out. She's just that willful.
Basically, we keep everyone happy with three simple rules.
I'm not allowed to fly to Georgia.
She's not allowed to fly to California without him.
I'm not allowed to call her house--only her cel phone--on the off-chance he'll pick up the phone.
It's not a perfect system, but it's lasted this long and so far there are no further plans to see each other in the next few years so I think it'll last for awhile longer. Hopefully, her marriage will improve and I'll stop fantasizing that she might actually leave him. She keeps telling me that I shouldn't wait around for her. But it's difficult when she was so unhappy and I could conceivably do something to fix it. I don't really want to wait for her. And for awhile I was convinced that I wasn't.
But last night, with someone else telling me how obvious it was that I was waiting, only brought to the surface of how under the thrall of what could be I still am.
I think we'll always love each other. First loves, lifelong best friends, surrogate little sister--there's a lot of reasons why gracefully backing out just isn't possible. She's the only healthy (if you want to call it that) relationship that's lasted this long. It's not just the romantic connection that keeps us together. It's all the other ways we back each other up:
--When she was running away from home almost every month, I would talk to her until she had the courage to come back to her parents.
--When I was handling relationships wrong and this close to getting arrested for fighting with exes, she was the only who could talk any sense into me.
--When she found out she couldn't have children, her husband and I would trade off talking her day after day, week after week, about how it wasn't a punishment from God. We told her that her future wasn't sealed repeatedly until she returned to her normal chipper self.
--When I went bankrupt, she floated me three thousand no questions asked until I could start paying her back.
--and dozens and dozens more reasons why it feels like she's saved my life numerous times and I've saved hers just as many.
I don't know how many of you have friends like that, but I can't think of a single other person i've shared so much heartache and woe with and who has been a part of so many of my good times.
She's part of the reason why I started this sad thread. No one has made me as sad as she has. It's like delfty and I were discussing, she can only hurt me because she feels like such a part of me. If I didn't care, I would be the first person walking away from her. No one is worth all the sorrow, the madness, the four hour screaming matches we've had over the phone... no one except her.
I can't let go of her. Not completely. Not ever.
VII. Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:45 am
Why we're not together is as much my fault as it is hers. From the get go I always felt close to her, but I was hung-up about the five year age difference and us having lives across the country from one another. I never thought it would work out between us.
But there's a huge difference between my being a nineteen-year-old kid who never really traveled anywhere in his life and my being thirty-two and kind of sick and tired of California. Back then I wasn't sure this petulant, willful, and altogether kind of wicked fifteen-year-old girl was the one I wanted to marry someday. I thought I'd meet someone better, someone who caused me less worry or stress or whatever. But she always knew I was the one for her. She was always the one stressing that we wouldn't always be seventeen/thirteen or even nineteen/fifteen. Honestly, I could never envision us lasting till thirty-two/twenty-seven. She always knew that one of us would a reach an age where moving across the country wouldn't be a big deal. Honestly, I could never envision making such a commitment for one person.
She kept waiting for me to, as she put it, slip into the saddle and get to riding. But I never could. I was young and stupid, and I thought there was no way I could meet someone this great that young and have her turn out to be "the one."
Now it's obvious she was and that her stubbornness that I was the one for her was true too.
The only reason she got married was because I kept shyly backing away from making real plans for the future with her. I kept telling her that "if we were meant to be then we'll up together eventually."
I kept telling her "maybe someday" when she asked, when I should have just said, "yes." That's what I wanted to say. That was the right answer.
That's how we got stuck in this situation. She moved onto her second choice and now her first choice is suddenly telling her that he made a mistake. If anything, I'm the one who pushed her into a less than ideal marriage because I didn't start putting the prospect of an ideal marriage on the table until five years ago.
Shit. It's probably more my fault than hers now that I look at it.
VIII. Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:56 pm
That was never answered, sugar. What is this? What will be? Hell's bells, I don't know how many times I've asked myself those same questions. I don't think we can look to anybody else for guidance. It's one of those muddy situations where there's no one else around to lend a hand and no one else to blame. We've just got to get to pushing the cart out ourselves.
And, no, I never assigned blame. You're the one who likes to do that, remember? I, as always, remain blameless. You can't fault a lady for knowing what she likes and doing all in God's power to go after it no more than you can blame that poor 'ole scorpion in that fable. I can only be Breanne--no more, no less. I can't fault you for feeling like you did. You were only doing what you thought was right. We were both doing that in our separate, but similar, ways. Do I wish we had gone down the same track and arrived at the some destination? Obviously. It would have made the whole scuffle more bearable.
I am glad that we ended up going down the same direction. It's like I'm driving down the highway and I see you as a familiar face in the car beside me. And I don't know where you're going and I don't know how soon you're going to have to turn off. Maybe we might end up at the same place together, maybe we won't. But for as long as I'm set on this course and your set on yours, I might as well keep you for company for as long as possible. It's mighty hard to find good company and the Good Lord knows that this journey of ours is longer than all hell.
Stay with me.
Don't give me up. Not just yet.
Not if you can help it and I promise to do the same.
That's what we said, right, sugar?