So it wasn't the WORST day of my life, but it's up there...
On this blog, I consistently brag about my independence.
I'm generally rather prideful, and it's bad, but I don't need people to tell me what a good person I am or all the great things I have going for me. I don't know who my future husband is, but let me tell ya, he's getting a heck of a deal. I come with a lot of signing bonuses. If the base contract is just my love, loyalty, sustaining support, basic domestic skills and in-born nurturing, I'm well qualified. But in addition, I bring to the table:
* EXCELLENT and advanced domestic skills-- I love to clean, I'm a super cook (not that I do a lot of it anymore, but I promise I'm pretty good in that department), I'm great with a budget, my home is beautiful and inviting, and I'm like a little Martha Stewart.
* A house with some pretty decent equity
* No debt (except for the above-mentioned house, but again, I manage this very well)
* I am educated but understand that I really know nothing, so I'm always interested in learning more about whatever I can. I think this makes me interesting and a good listener.
* And last, but certainly not least (and did I mention this list is not exhaustive?), my friend Jeff told me last night about some advice his dad once gave him-- Papa R. said that if a man's wife can't cook, you can always hire someone to do that for you. If a man's wife can't clean, you can get a maid. Jeffy's dad just told him he couldn't pay someone for sex. Um, good call. Anyway, the implication is that I should be good at that to have an edge over the other women, but of course, this is one area where I am 100 percent ignorant and inexperienced. However, I feel like my eagerness to learn and practice, practice, practice once I'm married makes me an excellent candidate in this regard.
OK, so anyway, yesterday was pretty awful. The punchline, in case you aren't interested in reading everything is that I got dumped by someone who wasn't my boyfriend, and I had a bit of a breakdown because there was a lizard in my house. I know that sounds stupid, but it was terrible. I ended up kneeling in the dirt, crying in my front yard. I don't know how long I was there. Sound traumatic enough?
It all started with a dream, a premonition. I woke up for my Sabbath from a dream where I was supposed to marry Johnny Cash. Don't ask me-- I suppose he wasn't dead in my dream. Regardless, I was in the mall, just waiting to go downstairs to some Vegas-style chapel, but I kept telling people at the various kiosks how I absolutely didn't want to marry Johnny. So when I went to face my fate, it wasn't Johnny at all, but Mike M., a man 28-years my senior, who had once asked me out in real life. I really didn't want to marry him either, but he carried me off somewhere. We were married, and I was terribly afraid of what my life would be like. But he just rowed me around on a lake-- very Victorian, right?-- and I started to warm up to him. He didn't look 56 years old. And then I fell asleep in my dream, after kissing my husband Mike, but then when I "woke up" Mike wasn't Mike at all, but my ex-boyfriend Ray. Ray was lounging in a hammock, waiting for me to wake up, and I remember being happier than I could have possibly imagined. And then I made out with him. And I woke up so happy.
That is, until I listened to my alarm's obnoxious buzzing and I realized that it was a real problem how much I still loved Ray. Even if it was in my dream, and I couldn't be held fully accountable for it. Because I do love what Ray-Ray gave me, being my first REAL boyfriend. I loved having him in my life. We don't talk at all now, of course, but I wish him well. I really do. It's just that sometimes, when I start thinking about how the aftermath of that relationship changed my life, it's hard. It's not like I'm in pain, it's just that there's this big empty space that nothing can fill. Most the time, I'm able to ignore it, because my life is so full of other love and responsibilities and stuff that it doesn't crop up too much. But instead of getting ready for church right away, I sat on my bed thinking about the way Ray had kissed me before telling me how he wasn't in love with me. And I remembered the hole in my heart, and I wished someone could fill it.
Well, fast-forward through the day. Church was marvelous, actually, and I left feeling spiritually fed. I went home and took a 20-minute power nap and was ready to go. I visited my cousin's family and they gave me fresh produce from their garden. I talked to a great friend on the phone, and felt awesome that I could do some listening and advising instead of always using him for my soundboard and comfort. And then Jeff came over to watch a movie. And though I had a huge list of things I could have been doing (artistic pursuits, mostly), I was glad to have him around.
Now, the other thing you ought to know, is that I have been a little frustrated with some of the men in my life. The friend-men, that is. I am perfectly aware of my dire social situation, but I've lately been trying to do something about it-- remember how I took all those boys out of my phone because it was just consistently disappointing to have them treat me like a convenience? Anyway, I guess I figured if I can't have a husband, I can at least utilize my male friends to fill some of the roles and the voids that a traditional boyfriend would do. For example, there's one guy who acts as my go-to for hanging out, doing-crazy-things fun. Our relationship is very sibling-esque, and I love it so much. If I need to go out, he's the guy. There's another one who understands my inner-artist, and really stimulates my creativity. I've got another guy who I like to talk with about spiritual things, and he's a real strength to me during the challenging times. One is my favorite dancing partner. One is my guru and wise old man on the mountain, guiding me through life. They all are special to me, but none of them fit into that hollow space just the way they should.
The thing is, with the possible exception of the dance partner, these are all things I can get from my inner-reserves, or even better, my gal-pals. The girls in my life are all these things and more. I count on them for so much. And because I'm little-miss-capable-face, I generally don't even think about "needing" a man in my life.
Except for the little things, like getting some shelves built. Am I capable of figuring this out? Yes. The boxes are too heavy for me to lift, but I could open them and move them piece by piece, for heaven's sake. I mean, I built my desk on my own. How hard can some shelves be? But I don't want to build them. I want someone to do it for me.
And yes, I can wield the baseball bat under my bed just as effectively as a man could, but I wish there were someone there to check the noises that usually just end up being my ice-maker.
And I guess I'll likely just have to toughen up about the reptiles and rodents around my property. The bat flew away on its own. I can flush centipedes down the toilet. But so help me, if I ever find a mouse in my house, it'll be the end of me, I know it.
So anyway, like I said, Jeffy was down last night. He'd told me half a dozen times he'd help me build my shelves, but they're still in my garage, in their boxes. In his defense, he's not the only one who offered to help and then didn't follow through. It's just he's the one who I thought would actually do it.
But last night we were both so tired. We watched a movie and nearly fell asleep, but we didn't. And here comes the embarrassing truth: I needed him. So much. I was so glad to have him there, because as stupid as it is, that morning's dream really threw me for a loop, and I just felt like I at least needed another man around, just to remind me that there are other men in my life, and that I've moved on and so on. It's very lame, but sometimes a girl just needs a boy's arms around her. And Jeff was good enough to deliver. He is (was) my cuddling friend. Check.
The evening wore on, and it got late and he needed to drive home and I needed to sleep. But that didn't keep me from wanting him there a little longer. He obliged, but then told me he just wants to be friends. And at first, it didn't bother me. Especially because a) that's all we've ever been and b) that's all I want too. Except the selfish person in me wanted a little bit of benefit to go with that friendship. It's been wonderful to have him to safely fulfill that other fundamental need. Sometimes a girl just needs to be kissed. But just because you want or need something doesn't mean you're gonna get it.
So, when I started to enthusiastically tell him how I was on the same page, it was ok. But then I started listing the reasons I didn't want him for a boyfriend anyway. And it all came out between really awkward, stifled sobs. Like the way I don't really like military boys. And the fact that he didn't talk to me for a whole week while his possessive best friend was there, and the way I felt like he was ashamed of me in public. And the way he'd told me time and time again he'd help me build those blasted shelves, but that he never followed through. And he said, "You're right. I'm not a good friend." And then he left.
Except that I then went to my room, ready to shed my clothes and a day's worth of awfulness, and I saw the nasty little blue-tailed lizard by my curtains. At first, I hoped I was only seeing a piece of lint on the floor and that my imagination was running away because of distress. But it was there, and I started screaming like a maniac. Blood I can handle. Lizards, not so much.
I ran barefoot, screaming out of my house, calling Jeff's name and flagging him down before he pulled out of my driveway. I asked him to take care of the thing because I just couldn't do it. And then I knelt down, crying and praying and crying some more, thinking that this would look like an awful domestic dispute were any of my neighbors to drive by. Because my face was eventually hung over in the dirt, and I was covered with tears and nasal excrement, I didn't want Jeff to see my face. It was mortifying enough for him to see me lose it over a six-inch lizard in my house. He brought me some tissue and I made him promise not to look at me while I got up and went in the house. I don't know if he kept his promise of not, because I just kept my head down and cried some more.
The thing is, I wasn't really crying about Jeff, or even that stupid lizard. I wasn't even crying about Ray, lest someone misinterpret and think I belong in a mental institution. I just felt awful, because there are some things I can't handle alone, and even when I ask for help, it doesn't always come right away or in the way I think I need it. Little-Suzy-Prideful-Face that I am, I hate admitting I can't do it alone. I hate that I haven't just built the shelves myself. I hate that I freaked out over the ice maker again last night. I hate that when I had that dream, I wasn't able to roll over and kiss someone who DOES love me, and doesn't just take advantage of the physical closeness (insignificant as it may seem to those of you authorized to do more than cuddle and kiss a little bit) before giving me the boot. Last night was a small scale repeat of my Ray debacle, and I thought it would break me.
But I woke up this morning, and I groaned a little bit, but I got out of bed. My family is blissfully unaware of my current heartache. My cover was almost blown when Jeff sent an apology text, telling me I didn't have to be his friend anymore. But darn it, I'm not fair-weather. My eyes stormed up again, but I'm committed to making it past all this weirdness and moving on and being friends again. And maybe, just maybe, he'll still help me with my shelves. Eventually.