And really, don’t we all???
I am currently involved with a brilliant man. He’s also a very complicated man.
This makes my relationship with him cook and sizzle on this magnificent emotional stove but sometimes, this relationship infuriates me to the point where I want to exit the kitchen…
Then, I think about what he does, who he is, who we are together, my contributions and his, then I realize that the way we react is part of that unspoken covenant we have with each other; the non-verbal contract we signed when we agreed to try this relationship on for size all those months ago.
We’re happy, but as weird as this sounds, it’s the little fleeting irritants that actually make our relationship what it is. I was asked not long ago to describe the relationship we have. It occurred to me that it’s witty and rife with smart ass come backs and sarcasm. If I have to exemplify us, I’d say what we have closely resembles the feigned adversarial repartee between Dr. Perry Cox and Jordan on “Scrubs”.
Somehow, we make passive/aggressive kind of hot.
This en guard attitude might make some couples uncomfortable, but it seems to fuel us. God knows why, but it gives this relationship the piquancy it needs and in our case, that it MUST have.
We work and to be honest, I don’t understand how or why. It is inexplicable.
All I know is that I am ridiculously happy with this man and with this relationship. I am content and happy and a willing participant. It is on almost every level, completely different from any relationship I’ve ever had. That’s good in that all the previous ones resulted in utter failure–this one gives me much hope–but it’s bad in the sense that nothing that I have ever employed in previous relationships, works in this one. I can get nothing past this man.
With him, I actually have to use my smarts, my cunning and believe it or not, my by God advanced education. I actually have had to apply things I learned in college to in order to level the playing field.
No man has ever made me think as he does.
So, when I think about this relationship and the sheer bliss in a cup it represents, I can’t help but hearken back on all the previous relationships I’ve had. Every last one of them left a body count in their wake…
And usually, the corpse was mine.
But I was lucky. I was resurrected and given the chance to find complete redemption.
But those aren’t the only reasons why I’m here today. Gratitude and hard lessons learned are the real reasons why. I’m grateful for the fact that not a single man I was with, ever took the time to get to know me. Not really, anyway. Had any one of them made the effort, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
But had they tried, they would’ve learned that I only read biographies and loathe romance novels BUT I am an incurable romantic. If any of them ever really knew me, they’d know I want Louie Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” played at my funeral.
Any man who really knew me would know of my kindred spirit with England and Ireland and how I want to connect with nature and a great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather by sitting on a cliff side overlooking a Scottish moor.
He’d know that don’t like candy and that I hate raisins and Lima beans and Indian food.
He would’ve known that I love University of Texas Longhorn football and that as the fanatic I am, I need to ingest more drugs than that which was found in Heath Ledger’s system JUST to watch a game without climbing the walls.
He’d know that I eat a cold orange before I go to bed and think drinking a glass of cold, fresh squeezed orange juice on Sunday morning is manna from Heaven.
A few shots of Vodka is optional.
He’d understand what it means when I sing–that I’m happy and that I love to watch “Jeopardy”….
He would’ve known that I believe in ghosts and that I’m fascinated by tornadoes; that I’m turned off by arrogance and intellectual bigotry and those who can’t or won’t fend for themselves.
He would’ve known that I love to laugh and for me, laughter releases stress and those oh so vital Laurieland-approved endorphines.
Had he taken the time, he would’ve known how I crave touch and how important it is for me to know that I’m loved.
And how important it is for me to express it.
He’d know that giving makes me incredibly happy.
And every one of the men in my life should have known that betrayal and infidelity kill my soul.
But apparently, that’s the one thing none of them could comprehend.
My “failure to launch” has been all about me, but my life isn’t. There are other components; living, breathing parts that comprise who I am. My family and friends. Therefore, if I’m learning to be a better me; to respect my authentic self and revere my elevated one, then the object lesson that entails must include the people I love.
What do I know about them?
He doesn’t want me to “hover” when he’s sick or mentally or emotionally preoccupied. He adores steak and He reads the damndest books and has a million of them. For Him, it’s imperative that I be self-sufficient in every way–but what I know and what He won’t admit, is that He wants me to be self-sufficient, but never to the point that I don’t need His help, His advice, His wisdom or ultimately, His love.
In spite of his brilliance, he’s still a man. He also needs to be able to trust and know that He’s trusted.
He can and he is.
For Her, I know she loves Cokes, Chico’s clothing and comfy shoes and could spend the rest of her life watching reruns of “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show” (black and white episodes only).
I know She loves diamond jewelry and shopping and she believes a new house will make Her happy. She wants to be treated like a queen. My prayer for Her is that someday soon, She will be.
I know She loves beer and Bloody Marys and experienced too much pain in Her life. Someday, I hope She’ll drink her favorite libations strictly because She enjoys their taste and not as an indulgent means to incapacitate life. She can’t keep it from unfolding around Her, no matter how bad it gets.
She is getting older and will not be told what to do. She refuses advice. She continues to be limited in Her ability to love and can only do so on occasion. She can now only express it incrementally and with currency. This is all she knows; all she’s capable of doing. Part of my loving Her requires that I forgive Her for this.
Are any of the people in my life; these loves of my life, perfect? No, but their imperfections represent this wonderfully powerful amalgamation of strength and hope and support. Collectively, they serve as my touchstone.
They are parts of my whole and to keep these people in the pivotal roles I’ve cast, I have decided that on this Valentine’s Day 2008, the greatest gift I can give them is my attention and focus.
You see, time has been both friend and foe to us all. They’re not who they were 20-years ago…not even who they were a year ago and certainly not who’ll they be in five years.
But I take some comfort in knowing that my evolution as a human, also includes theirs. We’re all changing and the process is continual. So yes, I know them as the the people they are today, but it’s also my job as a friend, a girlfriend, a sister and a daughter to maintain a relationship with the people they will become.
They’re worth this effort and so am I.
Love is worth the effort.
You see, what I now know on this Valentine’s Day that I didn’t know before is that real love– authentic love– is given life and sustained when we make the conscious decision to feed and nurture it with passion. Knowing how to be loved is one thing; know how to love is another. Passion helps make the distinction. Our souls are nourished when our friends, family and partners realize we know how to love them. Well, from this point on, my soul will then get a much needed B-12 shot because I intend to start asking more questions and then, I’ll listen to what’s being said. I want to see who my friends and family really are. And I want to understand how they they feel from all angles; from their perspective. I want to see my world through their eyes.
Fore the first time in my life, I want to create incredibly tender moments that tell these wonderful people I love them by knowing exactly what “I love you” looks like to them.