I’ve been working for a while now on my memoir. It’s been slow going and often frustrating. Some parts have been reworked into essays I’ve mostly published elsewhere. And a big part of the blame probably has to go to the lady in my life.
I told the lady in my life I’d write a blog post about her. The more I’ve worked on it the worse it’s gotten. So I’ll post this now and some other day I’ll rewrite it in a way that hopefully sucks a lot less.
Pain, anxiety, and fear are my great muses. I can write all day about stuff that stirs up those kinds of emotions. The lady in my life doesn’t do that to me. She keeps soothing my anxiety with her blunt, deadpan honesty. After telling her I nearly killed one of my abusers, she didn’t flinch at all. “You should’ve,” she said without blinking.
We’re open with each other in a way that seems crazy to many people, including me. Our relationship started completely backwards. We shared many of our deepest, darkest secrets with each other before learning each other’s middle names.
That backwardness reminded me of a scene from a favorite movie of mine, “Same Time, Next Year”. George and Doris spend one weekend a year together over the course of decades. They share many deeply personal moments together, but after more than a quarter century, George realizes he doesn’t know her favorite movie stars. (My lady and I talked about this once. I can tell you her favorite singers and bands now. I’m fuzzy on her favorite movie stars. I better do some homework.)
This is not to say it’s all smooth sailing. We both suck at relationships (which is why we were both single). We stumble and struggle and sometimes have weird, uncomfortable moments with each other. More importantly, though, we’re committed to trying to figure it out. “You’re a keeper,” we’ve told each other several times. We tell our loved ones about that occasionally as well.
It probably helped that we met online. I’m not sure we would’ve shared all those scary things had we been face to face. We took a good amount of time to talk things out and get to know each other before we did finally meet in person. Of course, that first physical meeting brought up fresh new anxieties.
Being in each other’s physical presence made us a little more shy with each other. Suddenly everything was very real. Questions about physical touch swirled in my head and still often do. Should I hug her right now? Should I kiss her? I won’t ever forget the first time she held my hand. I nearly cried.
The touch of her hand was incredibly nice, so smooth, soft, and gentle. That wasn’t the best part of it, though. It was that feeling of her opening her heart to me just a little bit more. She put quite a lot of trust in me right away. Feeling it physically was such powerful validation. I gave her a special gift for her birthday. I arranged with the Easter Bunny to bring her a basket of goodies. She tells me and others often that I’m sweet. I try often to show her kindness, but nothing I’ve done for her has made me feel worthy even of that little gift which has been only one of many.
Just a couple hours after first meeting her in person, the nerves brought me some stomach trouble. There was no way for me to escape at that moment. I blew up her bathroom, and afterward humbly and shyly apologized. “Everybody shits,” she shrugged. I didn’t need another indication that she was made for me, but she gave me one right then.
Jealousy has had no place in our relationship. We speak openly of our celebrity crushes. I’ve watched her fawn for famous men who make her heart throb and (perhaps foolishly) encouraged her to reach out to them. I remind her from time to time that I’ve actually spoken with a couple of my celebrity crushes. I even mentioned that a pretty woman asked about my relationship status. None of it ever fazes her. “I know you,” she always says. She sure does. I know quite a number of incredibly attractive women, but the lady in my life knows I’m devoted to her. (Either that, or she’s crazy. Probably both.)
Even though we met online, we keep our relationship mostly away from the internet. Our friends and family know about us, but there is no concrete evidence of our relationship on social media. We’re keeping it quiet for now as we stumble around, trying to figure out how not to suck at relationships, or at least this relationship. If we do become Facebook official, that’ll be a pretty good indication that we figured that out or at least think we have.
The lady in my life is so smart, funny, and beautiful. I wish I could write better for her, but that was never what caught her eye in the first place. From time to time, Bruce Springsteen rings through my head, “I can’t understand what a woman like you is doing with me.” Maybe some day I can get her to write about why she does keep me around. Maybe she’ll even post it on Facebook.