I think a friendship (for lack of a better word) has ended. To explain why in even the most general terms, I think I need to cover a geography of mistakes, misunderstandings, and as I see it, incompatibilities. Doing so feels, well, a little awkward. I believe a door has closed, however, and it is sometimes necessary to clean out the anxiety closet in our souls before we can move on.
I met T. online during the summer of 2000, as I was finishing up graduate school. It was an odd time for me. My life was full of transitions. I had defended my own personal Dissertation of Doom in June and was putting on the finishing touches suggested by my committee. I was working part time in the system administrator position that had paid the bills for the previous several years. Though it was a paycheck, I was broke and needed to find a real job. More than that, however, I was emotionally spent. I wasn't necessarily happy with myself inside because so much in my life was unsettled. To compensate for that unhappiness, I was looking to be with someone who embodied all the things I wasn't but wanted to be.
T. came into my life. She was outgoing. She was flirtatious. She was curvaceous. She was a musician with a local band. She could fill a room with her personality just by walking in the door.
Though I was a blubbering idiot at times, we generally got along like a house on fire. Great verbal repartee. We were flirtatious as hell. And kisses... well, I'm an engaged man now and a gentleman never tells. *smiles*
Though all was going well on the surface, something deeper wasn't working for me. There were a number of factors working against us, as I saw it. I was in my early 30's, and newly liberated from the indentured servitude of graduate school. T. was in her late 30's and yearning to have children right away (and I wasn't.) T. was also in the middle of some transitions herself, personal and financial, and how she handled them made me a little nervous. She was also previously married, and the disparity of emotional experience added a certain inequality to our budding relationship.
So, when the moment approached to physically consumate our growing attraction, I pulled back and said no. Confusion followed. Why, she asked, won't you? She wanted to, badly, and was falling for me. I couldn't, I said, it didn't feel right. (Yes folks, there is at least one man out there who will say no to a night of tempting physical pleasure if it isn't right emotionally.)
Things were broken and tailed off from there. We kept in touch, pleasantly and cordially. She moved on and I moved on, by the end of the summer. She saw other people. I saw other people, and eventually got engaged to Fiancee S.
When it came time to plan our Wedding, I thought of T. and the band she sang with. I knew the idea was not without risk of personal upset. I also knew that it was heading into unknown waters as far as personal poltics were concerned. Perhaps where T. is concerned, I am still the blubbering idiot.
In the interests of full disclosure, I sketched the situation to Fiancee S. She was ok with it, given how I described the situation. We decided to test the waters and went to see T.'s band perform. Everyone was cordial and T. seemed genuinely happy to see us and meet Fiancee S. We liked the music, and, we decided to float a trial balloon. Would T. and her band be willing to even talk about playing our wedding? It had been three years from a relationship that (in my view) had never seriously gotten started. Would that be enough water under the bridge?
I guess not. I haven't heard from T. since, and we've decided to go with a DJ for the wedding reception. I think it represents an ending for T. and me. It was a final small awkwardness after many such awkwardnesses. Ultimately, that was always the way of it between T. and myself -- we got along great in so many ways, but, seemed out of sync in so many others.
So T., if you're out there and come across this one day, I'm sorry... for so many things. I don't think my sins committed against you will add up to a stay in Hell. I do think I could do a few days in the county lockup in Limbo though.
on 2003-11-04 at 6:36 a.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond