Disclaimer: anyone needing to vomit can excuse themselves now or cover their eyes. This could get nauseating and if nothing else it’s sure to be entertaining for all you voyeurs out there.
I recently had the privilege of attending Ms Feeney’s engagement party. It was as special as the lovely couple themselves. Her blossoming love has been a beautiful thing to watch. My appreciation of my dear friend’s genuine affections for her lover was driven by the realisation of the stark contrast between her budding romance and that of my horrid experiences past.
More so, her engagement day brought with it an appreciation for where I now stood, or more importantly who now stood with me, when compared to those horrid experiences past.
So my dear readers, before I embark on complete disclosure – let me take you back to the beginning.
I figure it’s been just over three years since my marriage ended and well… it’s time. No more blogs about ‘finding myself’ or horrible online dating sites or desperate divorcees or fighting my way through the singles of sideshow alley which, let me tell you, was far more entertaining than any amusement park I’ve been to.
The single life truly is a circus full of masquerading perverts, highly-sexed twenty-somethings, and wandering nomads with starring roles from the confused, the needy and the lost – who I wanted to help, I really did – but there comes a time when you realise life is not always about rescuing the less fortunate. It is also about saving yourself.
And so I discovered how to say ‘no’. I said it a lot. In the end I think it just became ‘my thing’. I said no – like that song by Labrinth – because it made me feel good. The question I had to ask myself was – why? Was I afraid to say ‘yes’? Was I happy single? Was I scared of men, of letting anyone in again? Was I gay? (I said ‘no’ to girls as well, so that wasn’t it and yes, alright, I’ll write that blog one day too).
The confusing part was that I also said ‘yes’. A lot. But never to anything serious, just dates, casual flings where I felt removed enough to keep a very long emotional distance between me and them. And in this place I pitched my tent and set up camp. I called it my ‘relationship wilderness’. It was where you could have a non-relationship relationship. You could also have non-committal commitment. Yeah, it was confusing at times, but I stood my ground and as soon as anyone indicated they might want something long term, or more than friendship, or an actual girlfriend who cared – I ran for the hills – it was the wilderness after all.
In the end, I realised – it wasn’t just me. It was also them. Not one of them could hold my attention long enough for me to consider anything serious. Although, in the interests of disclosure, the well sculpted gridiron player did hold my attention in several ways. Go Kentucky!
The point is, there was no substance. And while I wandered around in the wilderness quite happily, I was also gradually closing down a part of me that gave a damn. I decided love wasn’t real. Most people weren’t genuine. Relationships were inherently based on a selfish need for approval and acceptance and I didn’t need anyone’s approval. The only people I loved were my family and my close friends. Men were not a priority. My children were.
The interaction I craved was from those who quenched my thirst for knowledge, who helped me learn and discover and grow and filled my life with interesting experiences. My friendship circle grew – quickly. It was enriching. My social circle boasted artists and scholars and media types, mixed with politicians and academics and sports people. But none of them was ‘the one’. Or so I thought.
Two years ago a reader of one of my blogs wrote me an email. He didn’t want to comment publically on the blog because it was ‘too close to home’, but his response was honest and heartfelt. I appreciated his sincerity and willingness to open up about his own life. We became friends – in real life too. But I said ‘no’ to anything else.
Eighteen months ago he wrote me a song. It was haunting. It moved me. I played it in the car a lot. But I still said ‘no’.
Twelve months ago he started sending me hand-written letters. Each time I got one in the mail I made sure I was alone and I could read it in the quiet and the stillness. They were mesmerising pieces of literature. And for me – a writer- it was where my weakness lay. I was captivated. But I still said ‘no’.
He called a lot. We talked a lot. He played me his songs. I read him my poems. But I still said ‘no’.
Six months ago we stayed up most of the night talking. No really. JUST talking. It was beautiful. I felt all funny inside – I wondered if the blood had started to circulate around my heart again. I denied I had feelings for him and I categorically, absolutely, assured him my answer was still ‘no’.
Then one Monday night, about a week later, he showed up on my doorstep – after I had told him not to. He walked in like he owned the place, wrapped his arms around me and didn’t let go. He told me he wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer.
As a Feminazi I should have kicked him out right there, but I didn’t. And nor did I want to. He hasn’t really left my side since. And when he does, I miss him. That hasn’t happened since I was about 15.
He makes me feel again… feel something… something nice and peaceful and good inside. That’s kind of a big deal for me. I haven’t felt anything stir in my spirit for the longest time.
And so there you have it. My own little love story. My leading man is mysterious and charming and above all else EMOTIONALLY MATURE. Trust me that quality is definitely worth the caps lock.
When I’m pensive he sings to me. When I’m busy he understands. He rejoices in the little things. He doesn’t care for the big things. He can cook, he respects me and he builds things – I like a man who is good with a circular saw.
You can all vomit now. The end.