Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Confessions and technicalities

I have a confession.

I've told you about my attempts to stir the pot. I've told you about my recent dates with Surfer Dude. I've told you about my fleeting attempt to become a gold medal flirt-er (this was a disaster, btw. Turns out, it's not the flirting I need to practice, it's communicating that my interest ends there). However, I haven't told you how much time I've been spending with J-Dogg.

At first it was sex. Then it was sex and the fact that I sincerely enjoy his company. Then it was frequent movie nights at his apartment, where he'd bundle me up on the couch with a blanket and all my favorites - red wine and brown sugar pop tarts or chips (all of which he keeps on hand, specifically for my visits). Then it was an occasional dinner or movie date. Then it was a weekend trip to the mountains, kissing in the hot tub under a light snow fall. Then it was a brief escapade in New York City.

A few days before Christmas, while in a Pottery Barn-type store looking for a Christmas present for my sister, I saw some pillows and towels that were perfect for the I'm-not-in-a-frat-anymore decor that J-Dogg has been implementing in his apartment. I bought them.

Then, when I went over for movie night, I had him close his eyes while I bustled around his apartment, replacing his thread-bear Chicago Bulls towel from 1987 with a fluffy new bath towel, and arranging the chenille throw blanket and pillows on his bed. When I was done, I dragged him around his apartment, explaining my purchases and babbling about how I hope it's not weird that I bought him Christmas presents when I'm not technically his girlfriend.

He smiled, thanked me, kissed me and asked if I wanted a glass of wine and a pop tart. I did.

We went into the kitchen, and while J-Dogg opened a bottle of wine and cleaned a glass for me, he pushed the pop tart box toward me and asked me to grab a package for him to put in the toaster. I opened the box, but there weren't any pop tarts inside. Instead, there was just a very distinctive "little blue box" with a white ribbon, and the simple black letters, "Tiffany."

Dumbfounded, I just stood there, staring at the box. Finally I looked up at J-Dogg with huge eyes. He just laughed and told me to open the box. I lifted the small blue square out of the pop tart box and untied the ribbon. From the blue box, I removed a butter-soft leather pouch. Inside the pouch was a beautiful, delicate, absolutely perfect, silver necklace.

Since that night, almost every one of my friends has asked me the same question you're probably thinking right now, "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN???????"

Well, it means that we still care about each other, and it means that I've learned a TON about myself since we broke up. I'm able to accept J-Dogg - and our connection - for exactly what it is, without silently torturing myself about "where it's going" and if it's "right." I don't need it to be anything other than what it is at this very moment.

Before I started dating J-Dogg, I hadn't been in a relationship in years. The unhealthy combination of my immediate connection to J-Dogg, my lonely lifestyle and a general lack of direction in my life, led me to put way too much pressure on "us."

Now my perspective is entirely different - I'm not looking to find a partner so I can feel like I'm moving forward with my life. I need to focus on figuring out what I want, and not what everyone else wants me to be. Right now, that means moving back to New York for awhile. It also means enjoying every moment I have with J-Dogg.

Years ago, my best friend, Beantown, introduced me to a great quote, and it seems very appropriate today: "Dance like no one is watching and love like it's never going to hurt."


Bird * said...

amazing self-discovery... and i really enjoyed that quote... :)

Laurie Stark said...

What a beautiful post! I wish you luck, my dear! Relationships come in all shapes and sizes and most of the heartbreak I've endured-- and inflicted-- has come from not getting that. I'm happy for you that you and J-Dogg are finding the perfect balance for you!