Friday, February 21, 2014

The Truly Lucky One.

There was this blizzardy thingy weather-wise last Monday night that threw a wrench into my dinner plans with Guy, whom I haven't seen since his mother's wake in October. I still have his Christmas presents to give him, and it's almost March. He worked from home, so the commute to come and get me in and near Chicago would've taken him hours. It has nothing to do with me being worth the effort or anything--rather, we both had shoveling and snow-blowing to do, and him sitting on the tollway for 3 hours just to wine and dine me didn't seem worth it. I firmly asked for a reschedule, which I was granted for this coming Monday night. At the restaurant I originally chose. A reasonable time.  Point being, I wasn't a baby about it. I understood, which is a rarity for me. I was grown up about it because I guess I'm more grown up than I give myself credit for. I have been known to stomp my feet and pout when our plans don't work out in the past, but really, I think I'm beyond that.

Do I miss Guy? Oh my, yes. Terribly. I write to friends about him and the echo of his giggle is in the back of my head. I can close my eyes and see his dimples. I open my phone, and the picture he sent me of his temporary tattoos from a trip last year give me pause and make me smile. These smiles and laughs are tempered with an ache. I don't text him as incessantly as I used to, leaving him his peace as he weaves through his days, which are undoubtedly jammed. I promised myself I'd let him lead, though I've thrown hints about getting together for quite some time. I just really think I'm done being childish about the pursuit of his affections and have come to accept what he can give when he can give it.


Because I love him.

(Ignore the spelling/punctuation errors in the above!)

Ours isn't a strictly physical love story....we've had tepid moments, but eros hasn't guided our decisions or actions (though he's very attractive). He's not counting every pound I've gained, with a measuring tape around my arms. I'm not counting the gray hairs in his mustache, unless it's to admire how much more adorable he's become and how much wisdom each hair he has earned. We never put any pressure on one another to maintain a certain physique or fit into a certain pair of pants. We don't judge or criticize the other. Why not? Because we're grown ups with grown up kind of love for one another--we're buddies. More importantly, I think in the last 6 months, since his mother's passing, our love has patiently matured, albeit distantly. Don't get me wrong--I'd still leap onto the guy if given the chance, 'cause he's hot, but that's not, nor has ever been, the central focus of our friendship. Which, to me, is very telling.

Things are quieting down with the estate of Madame Guy, I think, though I will have to wait until I see him Monday to hear the full scoop. Mostly, though, I want to know how HE'S doing. How HE'S coping. I don't want the evening to be all about me and the anecdotes of my interesting friends. If we have a few laughs and he goes through a couple of bottles of wine, so be it. I will remind him of the pictures I saw at the wake of what a cute little boy he was, and what a handsome young man he became, and how dashing he's aged. I can't say the same for myself growing older, but I just remember he loves me, flaws and all.  I want to know he's got support, that he's being taken care of, and that he's coping okay. Never mind me and all my stupid life problems, which is largely why I haven't blogged a lot lately, I have a lot of friends and a son and school to take care of. 

I have a friend who has a boyfriend who seems to never be 100% happy with her. Or at least that's her perception of him. He seems persnickety about her weight and she is obsessed with it. If she gains a few ounces, that's 2 more hours exercising. He'll thumb the skin under her upper arms and tell her she needs to tone more.  And she takes this to heart! On the whole, he's stumbling to please her, when he's not criticizing her fitness, and she's stumbling to feel worthy of those gestures and compliments. All superficial nonsense, mind you. They're a different breed than Guy and I are, so what's important to them isn't important to Guy and I. 

You can't begin to love until you learn to accept love given to you, in whatever form that is. Dare I say, her level of self-loathing surpasses even mine, which is pretty fucking bad. I'm trying to teach her good harm reduction strategies to the self-wounds she's inflicting, and I think she's doing better with that, and don't think I don't get it for a second. One has to be in a pretty bad place with oneself to self-harm. Believe me. (Yes, she's in therapy. No, her therapist doesn't know what she's doing.) 

The situation is complicated and I can't say much more than that, other than to say how thrilled I am that I'll see Guy on Monday and feel his warm arms around my new pudge. But methinks, deep down, that won't matter to him and he won't say a word about it. We have plans to go to a tony Italian restaurant in the area for dinner and merriment. Maybe a tear or two. But I wrote him a card with his gifts that said this: 

Some people are just meant to be friends. That's Guy and me. That thread has tangled and stretched plenty in 5 years, but no, it will never break. That's the kind of friend I am.

It was 6 years ago today that I went stumbling into rehab and into the psych ward for the first and last time.  I have no further use for 12-stepping programs, and have essentially quit counting months or days since my last drink or narcotic...because they're still part of me and my makeup. I said something snarky on Facebook that I didn't need to go to a 12-step meeting, collect a Chuck E. Cheese coin, gain a round of applause and high fives for something I don't believe in anymore. I said to put it in the "win" column and call it a day. So that's what I did.

Ironically, I have to attend one AA, one NA  and one SMART meeting for my addictions class. SMART I'm not familiar with, but I have the advantage of being an addict to get me into those "closed meetings," where you have to have a substance problem and aren't just a guest. Lucky me.

More after Monday's dinner date, within the limits of British decency. Trying to respect his desire for more privacy. So shhhh. Table for 2, please.