Tuesday, July 10, 2007


trying the wordpress thing.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I want to tell you about a place. I want you to go there with me, to stand beneath the concrete archway. But I don't have to tell you it's concrete, and I don't want you to have to see it the way I do.

I want to take you to a place, but it's a universal place. It's not Paris. It's not Rome. It's not Tokyo. It's high school.

I only have to say the words wrought-iron gate and concrete pillars, and I've got the high school entrance right in my mind. Of course I do, I walked through it every day for four years.

I don't want you to have to see that high school. I want you to see yours, or your best friend's or your husband's.

I want to tell you what happened to a young, slim, scared little girl when she went to high school. Though the setting in my mind is that semi-urban high school by the cemetary, you don't have to see it that way.

I want to take you somewhere. I want you to relate to the girl in the plaid skirt.

I don't want to spend pages and pages telling you about the green grass and the unheated winters.

I just want you to know it already.

Can you see it yet?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Compromise, Part 1

She doesn't know exactly who to turn to about this. Her mother gets teary eyed (but at least tells her to follow her heart). Other friends say things like, "I'll always be your friend, but there are red flags."

Maybe she's just not explaining herself well enough.

Because looking at it from the outside, sure, it looks bad. It looks like he's walked in and taken over her life, or, worse, that he's walked in, and she's handed it over.

That's not the case, at all.

She wanted a simple list of things:
*To fall in love
*To get away from her hometown

She's got the first one down, so what next?

She told him with great force in her voice, nearly in tears, sitting in a restaurant barely able to choke down the foccacia, that she wants to "get the hell out." She's not compromising; she's getting exactly what she wants.

She never settled on where she would go, and he offered a suggestion. Her request was vague. His was stable and specific.

Her friends do have a point. There was another man who offered, directly, to take her away with him. To have her as his wife and take her to Texas. And she was okay with that, for a brief moment.

This is one of those things that people judge her on, that this is not the first time she has considered someone the solution to all her problems.

But that was then. And this is real. The previous man was simply a fantastical solution to a wealth of issues. He was made of stardust and didn't even have one foot in reality. He was a temptation and a lesson, nothing more.

And if she had it to do again, well, she wouldn't have kept dating him.

But, when it comes down to it, maybe the people who once knew her best are basing their ideas on what they knew way back when. They're basing it on a girl who clung to her family. A girl who always went home on weekends. A girl who was afraid to go see what the world had to offer.

And maybe, just maybe, there are others who know her better, who understand her situation, who say things like, "compromise shows maturity."

Maybe she already has people who will listen to her worries.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ever Expanding Family

She did believe, in some vague way, that whenever she got married, her husband would simply flow seamlessly into her own. She never thought about having to fit into his world, his family. It was as though she expected him to come from some great vacuum, eager - but not too eager - for family dinners, evenings out, backyard barbecues and all of the wrappings of an active family. She even has friends who insist that their spouses will, essentially, have to have no family of their own in order to properly assimilate into the demands of large family life.

It never occured to her that she would fall in love with someone who, while enjoying family, has no desire to acquire a new one.

But she has.

In some ways, she's been lost to her own family. Her parents wonder about her whereabouts. Her grandmother curiously calls and asks for updates. Her cousins, well, they vanished on their own long ago.

But she's creating her own family, building from the ground up, melding lives with someone completely different from herself.

So, she doesn't over commit him, although he generally does whatever she asks. She never tells her mother, "Yes, we'll be there." Recently, if it's something that matters enough, she'll commit herself, "I'll be there for sure, and I'll get back to you about him."

Her mother seems to appreciate this semi-commitment.

Mostly, she despises saying "Yes, sure thing, you can count on me," when she may very well have to place an apologetic phone call or write a suck-up e-mail later on down the road.

So, her new method seems to work.

Though it's new for her, and her observing family, to note that she can't just say yes, that she has to talk to someone else first, that she no longer seems in complete control over her time, of her life.

This is a deliberate move on her part. She has a tendency to move full-force through life, completely forgetting that anyone else might care about a decision she has to make, that there are people who would like to be consulted before she, say, rents an apartment, quits her job or books a hotel room. That is, there are people other than her mother who want to be involved in her thought process.

When she rented her apartment, she didn't tell him until she was moving in two days.

Now, months later, she consults him about an issue at work. Mostly, she's made up her mind about the course of action, but at least he thinks he's involved. And he, like her father always has, offers a unique perspective on the situation. At the very least, he will validate her choices.

He can fill some of the roles that her family long has, but he still will never fully integrate into her family.

He will never be her mother's son. He has his own mother, thank you very much, and, admittedly, he doesn't call her enough. He can't possibly take on another one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007



It's not just me.

You're here, too?

I'm not the only one.

Looking for answers.

Searching for truth.

Am I supposed to believe this isn't all about me?

That's new.

Give me a moment to get used to that.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Even now, what I fear is that you won't be able to love me enough.

That I will ask for much more than you can give.

That you will realize you don't have enough.

That you will walk away from someone who needs so much.

Even now, I fear that I will change for you and for me and then you will leave.

That I will be completely different, will have left family and friends behind.

That you will be gone, and I will have nothing.

Even now, I fear that I will leave for you, and I will need more.

That I will require too much, need too much of your emotions and time.

That I will never understand that what you give me is all you have to give.

Even now, I fear that you'll give up on me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ready or Not?

Each Sunday, he leaves. He returns to his side of the mountain, to a world she was working really hard at getting to know before he moved again. He moved a few months ago to a place where she's not comfortable staying overnight. There's not much to talk about when it comes to that. He knows it. She knows it. And there's nothing to be done about it.

So, more often than not, he's the one who leaves.

There are days when she's anxious for him to pack up his computer and head down the stairs to his sports car, ready to have her space returned to her, ready to have the sole bathroom available for only her use.

Especially on Sundays, she is ready for those few quiet hours before the hectic week begins, for the peaceful hours to herself. She reads. She cleans. She watches movies he doesn't want to see. She prepares herself for what she will face heading back to work on Monday.

Her contentment after his departure proves her budding theory that she is not ready to get married, that, in fact, after too many of those conversations that dance around marriage and kids, she feels slightly sick to her stomach, like she's eaten too much ice cream. It proves that they are not ready to get married (not that he's asked).

She sometimes finds herself getting anxious, eager for the time when she'll be one of the women looking at dresses and picking out colors, giggling with her bridesmaids. But that's a wedding, not marriage. She's not ready for marriage. She likes that he is her boyfriend, not her fiance, not her husband, but her boyfriend. She enjoys that he has his own apartment -- on his own side of the mountain.

If all of this is true.

If she is so content with the current situation.

Does it make sense for her, every Sunday night, to long for the time when neither of them has to leave?