Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just Wondering

"So, what was the point?"

"The point of what."

"Of meeting the dream guy whose type I wasn't? I mean I got all worked up about him, thought he was THE guy, and then...nothing. What was the point of him all those months ago?"

"You needed to know you get all worked up about someone again."

"Seriously? That's it? You think?"

"I don't know. What brings this up?"

"Oh, I was just thinking about how interesting it is the way things turn out. And the one who actually is THE guy has a lot in common with used-to-be-dream guy."

"Well, then that's easy. You just got confused. Somewhere inside, you knew some of the qualities of your particular Mr. Right. You just noticed them in the wrong guy. It's like when you're a kid and you see your mom in a store, and you run over to her, and almost take her hand, then realize it's not your mom."

"Just a case of mistaken identity then?"


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monday Night Date

There he stood, looking cautiously around, wearing one of those shirts that makes him look inexplicably and indescribably adorable.

She stood off to the side, holding her book, noticing him looking for her. And then she walked toward him, and he saw her. A smile lit up his face, as one was surely lighting up hers. He reached her first, grabbed her hand in his, interlaced their fingers and kissed her square on the lips.

"Hi." He drawled.

"Hello." She said, her voice barely above a whisper.

They walked over to baggage claim, he kept holding her hand. He kept sneaking glances at her. Her brownish hair with golden highlights (natural, of course) falling softly around her shoulders in loose waves. He looked into her eyes and told her about the comedy of errors that was the second leg of his flight. Crying babies. iPods on so loud he could hear the bad music playing clearly through him. A woman who sniffled her nose incessantly. Turbulence. Anything else he could think of. And he looked at her. And he smiled.



She told him about her wonderful dinner with a friend. A dinner at a random local restaurant that, it turns out, also exists in the city he just left.

He gripped her hand then released it to take his computer bag off of his shoulder.

"It's like I'm having a hot flash or something." He was visibly warm.

She stood in her coat, happy to be so warm and standing next to him, feeling his presence beside her.

She looked at him. Examined the dimples around his smile, remembering all over again why she finds him so unbelievably attractive, even if another woman might pass him by without a single glance.

"Where's the luggage? Is the thing broken?" He seemed impatient to get out of the airport and on the road back to her apartment.

"It's on it's way. It's okay."

He told her about dinner the night before. He told her about the fancy sticky buns he had packed with an ice pack so they would be fresh upon arriving in California. Then he stopped, and just looked at her.

"You look great."

"Thank you." She smiled at him.

The slowly moving luggage carousel finally started pumping out more than the initial run of about fifteen identical black suitcases.

He started to look for his.

"You have your suitcase and a box?"


They stood side by side and watched.

Would anyone ever say that standing in the airport waiting for luggage is romantic?

Probably not at first pass.

But with a little context, it becomes obvious, that sometimes it's the most romantic date you could possibly imagine.

He suddenly shot forward, grabbed his suitcase and a small cardboard box off of the metal carousel.

"That's it?" She asked, grinning at him.

"Yep. Let's go."

"Alrightee." And she led him out the door of the small airport and towards her waiting car in the parking lot.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wake Up

She scrunches down under her comforter, pulling the blanket over her head.

"Sunshine until 11 a.m., then gradual fog..."

She knew it was coming...the start of the day had to come sometime. But after a restless night spent tossing and turning amid disturbing dreams, she'd just as soon that it didn't come for another few hours. Sleeping the day away sounds awfully appealing. "Twenty more minutes," she mumbles, resets her alarm and burrows back under the covers.

He's not here. For the first time in several weeks, she's sleeping without him. She never thought she'd get used to having another person in her bed so quickly, but she did. The first night, it almost didn't matter, because she was so tired when she fell into bed. But these past couple of nights, she's gone to bed missing him and dreamt of a life without him, only waking to find that she still misses him. Shouldn't dreams be a relief? Shouldn't she only have to miss him when she's awake?

He hasn't left her for good, but it feels like it. He's moved out of the apartment, although he wasn't really living there...just staying there until he found the place he moved into last weekend. She knew from the first night he threw his suitcase at the foot of her bed that he wasn't staying forever. They weren't moving in together. She prepared herself for a week's stay, but that turned into nearly two months, and now she's used to him.

It doesn't help that the day after he moved his belongings (though not the visible ones at the foot of her bed, only the ones in the patio closet) into his new place, he flew home.

So, he left her twice in the last week, and she feels like a fool.

She rolls over on the bed and rests her head near her sleeping cat, comforted by the warmth of his body, the feel of his fur near her face.

She never thought she'd be the girl to get so caught up in a guy, but looking back, it all makes sense. Every crush she's had has felt nearly this intense. In each of those crushes, she invented full fledged relationships without ever even talking to a guy once, or without dating him, or without being anything more than friends.

She also feels like a fool for worrying. One week away won't steal him from her. Him living elsewhere will also remind her where they are in their (still new) relationship. Rather than live in false state of union, they will return to their twice a week dates, their phone calls, their own space.

She rolls onto her back and kicks her legs against the mattress, frustration letting loose. While she knows it's healthy to see each other less, it seems like a total step backwards, a step she's not willing to take.

The alarm blares again, startling the cat enough to make him raise his head, and she turns it off, without resetting it, knowing that she has to get out of bed and face the world.

Even when she's stewing over the status of her relationship, the world has to continue. Her life has to continue. She will go to work. She will have lunch with her parents. She will drive a good distance to see her friends.

And she will see him again in a few days.

But she wonders if she will ever stop feeling so foolish for being a fool in love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


There are moments when she wishes that she never had a day off. The days off come to mean too much -- if she spends one away from him, it seems like wasted time. If she spends it doing something other than what's on her list, it seems pointless. And she goes back to work only to have lost her ability to block out the annoyance she feels when people ask her whispered questions.

She has never been able to tolerate whispers. They make her skin crawl.

Mondays are full of whispers as her customers hesitantly begin their own weeks and are at their most polite. Sadly, whispers only make her snappy and full of wishes that these people would learn how to do things on their own, instead of coming to her with their hopeful faces.

And then, those days off roll around again, and she is infinitely grateful for any snippet of time she gets to spend with those she loves, whether those moments be with her family, her friends or with him. And she wouldn't trade them for anything.

But there are moments when she wishes she didn't know what it meant to have a life outside of work, because having that life, even for a whisper of time, makes her crave it all the more.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


No more can she trace "I" heart "u" on his back as he falls asleep.

He caught her the other night. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah." She calms her fingers, resting them lightly on his shoulder.

"I thought you were like having seizures or something. You're all twitchy."

"No, I'm fine." She couldn't even think of a good reason for her rapidly moving fingers. She just stopped and wiggled her feet for good measure, just to show she was getting the "twitchy" out of her system.

"Okay. Good night." He hadn't even opened his eyes. Neither had she.

"Good night, baby." She sighed softly and tried to sleep.

Now how would she tell him that she loves him without telling him that she loves him?


I am my father's daughter. There are moments when a certain flick of my wrist or tilt of my hip will remind everyone that I am my mother's daughter as well. But I am my father's daughter.

My father will be angry for days and even weeks before he will let anyone know what is wrong. He will mope. He will furrow his brow. He will set his jaw. He will not speak.

I am my father's daughter.

People think they know him. They call him by a nickname, when in reality, he hates when anyone shortens his name. They think he's "such a nice guy," in much the same way everyone thinks I'm "such a nice girl." I had too many "stay sweet" comments to count in my high school yearbooks, yet anyone who really knows me would probably not use "sweet" to describe me if they only had one word to use.

I am my father's daughter.

My father loves my mother with all of the passion in his heart. He loved her stupidly and wrongly. He was rude and sarcastic and thought that would work. He dated other women, not making her jealous, just biding his time until she saw fit to love him in return. He hid his affection behind a shield of anger.

I am my father's daughter.

I am in love now, for the first real time in my life. All the other times I may have loved, but I do not think that I was in love. I love with all the passion in my heart, but I will not say it. I will bide my time, making passive aggressive comments until he should see fit to say he loves me in return.

I am my father's daughter.

My father will remember key facts about certain people and nothing about others, even if he's been told 100 times.

I will stare right through some people, never remembering why I am supposed to know them, while there are some faces that I can recognize and identify from a mile away, and not because I want to, not because I like the people that go with the faces, just because.

I am my father's daughter.

My father will make seemingly snap decisions that, in fact, he's been mulling over for hours, days, months, whatever fits.

I thought about moving out of my parents' house for at least two and a half of the three years I lived at home, most seriously in the 10 months before I finally moved. Yet, my decision to actually do it came over the course of about four days. Those close to me were not pleased by the seeming alacrity of this decision.

I am my father's daughter.

Both father and daughter show our emotions in our behaviors yet keep our thoughts private. It's obvious that *something* has affected us, but we won't tell you what, not unless you fight for it. If you want into our world, you have to earn it and earn it and earn it again. And there's no guarantee that once you've been let in once, you'll be let in again anytime soon.

There is sometimes an angle in my hip, a sigh in my chest or a tilt in my head that will remind people that I am my mother's daughter, too.

But then I will retreat into my private, secret world, and it becomes all too obvious that I am my father's daughter.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Slightly Unwelcome Nostalgia

She could feel a pang in her chest as she skated around the rink, hand-in-hand with him. A huge part of her felt amazed that, here she was, in her mid-twenties, finally holding the hand of a boy as she whizzed around the ice rink. Well, slid along on her crisp blades without falling down is more like it, but she felt like she was flying.

The pang surprised her.

But she knew immediately what it was.

She was happy to be here with him, but the reason she had come was to skate with her friend, the girl who had, in recent weeks and months, miraculously become her closest friend. And the pang hit her just as she skated by her friend, holding the side rail, staring up into the eyes of her on-again-off-again-on-again boyfriend. She missed her friend.

She also realized that this would be life now.

She will never have her friends the way she once had them. Even if all of the current relationships were to fall to pieces, all of the romantic entanglements dissolve, all of the friendships will have irrevocably changed.

She had wondered, cautiously, over the years in which she had no boyfriend, what she might have to give up, to sacrifice in order to have the thing she wanted most. She worried that something would happen, some karmic twist, that would balance out her happiness with the way the rest of the world felt. She had already recognized some of that sacrifice in the relationship with her parents. It simply isn't possible to maintain the same relationship she did when she lived at home and didn't have someone else who required most of her attention. When she lived at home, in those pre-boyfriend days, she really did only have to think about herself. And she often chose to situate herself next to her parents, for an evening in watching movies.

So, there she is, in this ice rink for the very last time before it closes. She looks at her boyfriend, the man holding her hand, the man with whom she argued just a few short hours before, about his desire to spend time with a friend she doesn't like at all. He lets go of her hand so that he can better balance himself on his wobbly, rented skates, and she retreats back into herself.

This is the last time she will skate on this surface. She'd only been to the rink twice (counting this time) since graduating from college, but in her sorority days, she spent more than one Saturday afternoon making "whips" with her friends, twirling, whirling and giggling. She realizes how long it has been since she really laughed with her friends, since those mostly carefree days of college. The worries she had before graduation were nothing compared to the big, weighty worries she has now, worries she tries not to register, believing, half-heartedly that God will sort everything out for her.

She's still awkward with him after their fight. She feels better about things, but it's hard to come back to their comfortable ways after she's told him some, but not all of what she was feeling. Their conversation is stilted, as if she's speaking with someone who doesn't know the language, or maybe it's her who doesn't know the language.

At last, his ankles can't take any more wobbling, and he goes to sit down next to her friend's boyfriend and another friend's husband. The men can't hack the somewhat graceful moves required to ice skate.

Her girlfriends join her on the ice. They talk, and they laugh. She fills them in on the fight. Their conversation is fluid and easy, and she misses her friends so much, even though they are right there. With a sudden, fierce intensity, she misses college and the sorority. She misses having someone to talk to just next door, or an IM away. She misses late night conversations, midnight runs to Safeway for ice cream, the lightness and freeness of being young, single and away from home. She misses setting her own schedule. She misses not having friends who have gotten married. She misses not having to worry about the big things like whether leaving her job would be career suicide.

They keep skating around. She hears more about her friend's latest, hopeful job possibility, and she's happy. She's happy to see a smile on her closest friend's face.

The other, a married friend, advises them both, and assures her that the right she had with him will be repeated. It is reassuring to hear that their argument is one that will repeat itself, that it's the kind of argument only real couples can have.

The pack of people on the ice thins. The music on the stero jumps erratically, and they can sense the evening coming to a close. The married girl jumps off the rink to try to persuade the men back on the ice for one final lap.

Out they come, and she's happy to see him, happy to hold his hand, but still just a bit melancholy that is presence means she's done having that easy, genuine conversation with her friends. She misses easy conversation not laced with arsenic.

They finish their lap. They leave the ice.

And she steps back into her life.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

In the Air

The door closes gently behind him, and she strains to be sure that's what she heard. Certain that he has gone, she whispers, "I love you," rolls over, pulls the lavender colored down comforter over her head and curls into a ball.

She's known for a while now that she loves him. At first, she was most certainly falling for him, and that was at least two months ago. Two. Whole. Months. Now, she loves him, but she can't tell him. She's certain that telling him before he tells her would spell certain doom for their relationship. Though she's less certain of that than she was when she first realized her feelings for him went stronger than she thought.

At first, she was impatient. She loved him, therefore, he MUST love her. When would he tell her? Any day now, she could feel it. Well, days have turned into weeks and will soon turn into months, and with the passing of time her anxiety has miraculously turned into patience.

She loves him more and more each passing day and has begun to realize that what her mother told her all along was true, it is possible to increase in love when you thought you couldn't possibly love one drop more. Even in just this short time (well, short relative to the lifetime she hopes they'll spend together), her love has shifted and changed shape, moving from a crush turned into deeper feelings to a true and real love, a love that means she can not like something he does and still want him around, a love that means she doesn't want him to tell her something he doesn't mean.

After her anxiety passed, she started taking risks. A whispered, "I love you," as he drifted off to sleep. Spelling out "I" heart "U" on his skin with her finger, careful always to make everything slightly misshapen, lest he realize what she's doing.

Now, she says, "I love you" each night in her mind, and every morning when he leaves. She wants it out there, in the air, as he drives those winding roads to work, as he interviews for jobs, as he goes to new classes.

She believes that those three little words can fly out the door after him and weave themselves into a sphere of protection around him, guarding and guiding him through each day.

At this moment, as she falls back asleep, snug in her bed, with the covers wrapped tightly around her, resting in the warm spot he so recently left, it's enough that her love is in the air around him, even if he doesn't know.