Hearts, People

Who is Mr Right?

Mr Right and I have been friends for about five years. I met him at an interesting time in my life. A time when I was pretty comfortable and totally carefree. He was a friend of a friend’s friend… or something. I didn’t take much notice of him at the time. We were at a Jabbawockeez concert in a defunct open-air cinema (oddly named Kay-Donna). Jabbawockeez never showed. The night was a little bit of a waste, although the other acts were pretty good. I was liming with a couple girls I don’t talk to at all now. Mr Right was there with the brother of one of our mutual acquaintances, and took my camera to take a picture of himself. I rolled my eyes in my mind and moved on to other thoughts.

As the years passed, we spoke more and more. If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that having a close male friend (or worse, a male best friend) always evolves into something akin to a common-law relationship. It is not important if you are aware of this, or if you actually desire this change of state. It is bound to happen. My first (real) male bestie fell in love with me, and described the development ruefully as laying a brick each day until an entire house was built. At that point, he said, the house was impossible to ignore. There’s not much one can say in response to that. My second best friend, who was actually an ever-present fixture in the previous friendship, picked up the pieces. On a very random afternoon in 2008, he sent me a text saying “This is long overdue, but I love you.” I was a walking definition of naïveté. I told him that I loved him too, and felt warm and fuzzy because I thought I had a super “brother from another mother”. This was followed a few months later with “I think I really like you”, to which I said I thought he only felt that way because we talk all the time. I wanted to move to Lithuania panicked, but told myself it could still be salvaged. The friendship didn’t end right then, but the die was cast.

I’d started avoiding guys like the plague at this point. I was weary of breaking things. But, Mr Right was around. I thought he was like a brother to me… the kind of guy you could talk football with, but balked at the idea of dating. Yet, there I was telling him a bunch of things I didn’t really tell anyone else. I never called him my best friend because history is a cruel teacher. I ignored every suggestion of “something more” by our friends… for a long time. In a few weeks, we will be together for a year. Sometimes I muse on the fact that I didn’t know I’d met the most important person in my life five years ago. Loving him is the bravest thing I ever did.

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Hearts, Random

Pause

So you ever had a conversation and when you look back you realize that:

1. you cannot take back the words you said (not that you ever can, obviously)

2. you really really wish you could swap what you said with pretty much anything else, namely silence

3. you were not even in the frame of mind to have a conversation at the moment in question

4. oops… you broke it (“it” being the friendship)

Yes, this happened to me.

Mind you, the opening line of this doomed discourse was “is everything ok?” One would think that is the precursor to a nice, heart-felt conversation. Not so much. I was having a bad few weeks/ month, and was under the distinct impression we were not even talking anymore (can you tell this story is more complicated than I’m letting on? Yea.) So my good ole default kicked in with a “what does it matter if I am or am not?”

In case you didn’t know, this is not the way to handle an outstretched hand on a bad day, and definitely not on a good one. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather harp on their lack of communication or change in behavior. In the long run, you will realize reconnecting over the fact you share concern for each other will probably go a long way to sort out any static.

And now there is the deafening “nothing” that I can’t decipher.
Is this the new and permanent state of affairs because people got hurt?
Is this the new and permanent state of affairs because people got indifferent?
Or is this what a friendship on pause sounds like?

I hope it’s a pause… I miss my friend.

a simple truth

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Hearts

A Thought about Hearts

When it comes to hearts and love and butterflies and infatuation and plain old lust (which is not love at all) and staying together forever, everyone has an opinion. Solomon to Louis Armstrong to Robert Indiana has had something to say about it.

The older I get, the more I feel like love is greatly misrepresented in the media. If that’s all there is, and if we believe that’s all there is, it’s no wonder there are high rates of divorce and separation (and more commonly just ignoring marital vows like “forsake all others”).

Love is not just feeling like you want to be a better person for them, or the creeping electricity when he “accidentally” touched your arm. Nor is it just your strange inside-jokes that none of your friends get… certainly not the fact that you both enjoy cooking/ hiking/ going Maracas together. These things are great, but when he tells you/does something that gets under the love and cushy-ness, and past the stage of irking to outright pissing you off… love is not in that place. In that place you’ve got to have respect, lest you say something that can never be erased. Under that love has got to be patience and longsuffering and a willingness to let go of missteps. And under that is the primary understanding that even as you grow together into one with this person, this person is still not you… Which is just fine.

These are the foundation of love, in my opinion. Especially the kind of love that makes people promise their lives to each other. In the movies, at the apex of the relationship rough patch, there would be a realization that things that first brought the couple together are worth fighting for. This may be the only thing the movies have gotten right. That, and knowing you are a better person because of them.

In the Emmys, Julianna Margulies thanked her husband in her acceptance speech and said “it would mean nothing without you.

It’s amazing how much those words weigh.

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