October 27

My boyfriend teased me today about having no gratitude for him making me breakfast AND dinner yesterday. I teased him back that his breakfast made us sick so it was hard to mention. (It didn’t really; I think it was coincidence.) At any rate, I promised him that the next post was going to be his. I don’t think he took me seriously. After all, we are both more than a bit sarcastic. But I thought about it afterwards and decided that I should write about him. Sometimes it’s easiest to take the people closest to us for granted, assuming they should know how we feel. Even forgetting the niceties we reserve for strangers, like thank you and please and excuse me. I try to remember to be respectful that way, but I still find it difficult sometimes to be verbal with compliments. I often think them, but I’m reticent with sharing. Maybe it stems from my fear of sounding disingenuine. I’m sure growing up in a family of seven sarcastic people didn’t help. Or maybe it’s because getting complimented often makes me feel awkward. Whatever the reason, I really should get better at it.

So what about my guy? For starters, he’s helped redefine my expectations for relationships. In that, I’m learning to let go of how I think things should be and am much more willing to let things evolve as they will. Not a lot about us makes us an obvious match. He’s math; I’m English. He prefers to be alone; I bug him when my house is empty. He’s ok with no plan; I need to know what’s happening next. He’s never been married; I’ve been divorced. Heck, he’s even a foot taller than I am. And a lot younger. And for the longest time, I thought those differences would matter more than they do. But every time I worry, he makes me feel calmer and I think it’s because for the first time in my relationship history, I actually trust him. He doesn’t run off of ulterior motives or competition or whatever is going to make him look best. He says what he means, and I really appreciate that. Maybe not always in the moment, but I love knowing that I can take what he tells me at face value. For me, that’s a biggie. I also appreciate that he’s respectful to me; he asks my opinion, he apologizes if he needs to, he invites me to join him on things. I don’t feel taken for granted. I’m thankful for some little things too: how he kisses the top of my head, pays for dinner, rests his hand on my knee when he drives, teases me relentlessly, cooks for me, tries to scare me during tv time, and has helped me appreciate craft beer and Howard Stern. Obviously, I could add stuff, but he’s probably already mad that I’ve said this much.

As with everyone, my guy isn’t perfect. I do get annoyed sometimes. (And yet he doesn’t with me…go figure.) But I am honestly thankful for having him in my life. We broke up for a short period and I realized then that no matter how I tried to move on, I couldn’t. He’s gotten under my skin. I told him once that I’d take whatever time I had with him, long or short, because I knew it would be worth it. Of course, I hope now it will be a long time.

September 4: Oeillade

I chastise myself for dwelling on the
inevitable, for loneliness plays upon my
wounds before they heal. The bandages

wear thin with the constant flow of
images, past and new experiences, most
real, some imagined but all embellished

with roses. Futilely, I cling to what
I know is already gone, or mostly gone,
and will be forgotten when the last

sand falls. The grains are already
counted and echo with their rapid
descent, until I can only hear the

tic toc tic of my heart. Will you
think of me afterwards as the weight
around your legs that caused you to

stumble in time? Or will you view me
in some dark, private cubicle, inserting
a quarter for a glimpse of the past, and

see me dancing in slow rhythms before you?

I wonder some days about the people in my life and how long of a time frame we have together. I’ve lived long enough to see many people come and go. Maybe by moving away. Or growing apart. Or dying. I’m reminded this week of the ebb and flow of life and how, no matter what we desire, some things don’t happen the way we anticipate. And that can be frustrating or maddening or disappointing or heartbreaking. It’s not easy giving up on expectations, but I’ve come to the conclusion, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, that often it’s necessary. Especially when it comes to other people. Instead, I’m thankful to be reminded that what I need to focus on is what their impact may be in my life and what mine may be to theirs. And try to be someone whose presence made a positive difference; someone worth remembering.