Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Dot Dot Dot
Beginning, middle and end. That's how every story should go, right? It starts off with Once Upon a Time and trails off with And They Lived Happily Ever After...
But what comes after the dot dot dot?
Y'all know I'm a huge fan of the ellipsis. I'm also a huge fan of once upon a time and living happily. But are these fairy tales that we tell ourselves, our friends, and even our children simply the security blanket of single girls everywhere?
Disney gave us unrealistic expectations of love and romance. They set the scene that all of our lives are kind of on pause until the story begins. Until we meet our prince. That once we find him, it's only a matter of time until we ride off into the sunset together on horseback. Once we couple up, our story ends. Or does it?
What comes after the dot dot dot?
I'm going to tell you a story about a relationship I was recently in...and recently got out of. But rather than take you on the roller coaster ride of ups and downs, ins and outs, I'm going to let you read the last page first: We broke up.
Those of you who follow my facebook page (and you ALL should!) lived through this one with me. I met Jason, fell for him, things were amazing, shit went wrong, I walked away. Those are the major plot points for anyone needing the Cliff's Notes version of it. But I received a lovely email from a reader who said "Just once, I want it to work out for you! I love hearing how you meet these guys, but then I get so sad when it doesn't work out. When they're stupid, or they hurt you, or they don't appreciate you, or they have a dominatrix on the side. (That one was cray cray btw. Did NOT see that coming!) In the future, could you please just tell us how it ends first? Like, should I get my hopes up for this guy, or is he an idiot like all the rest? Just once, I want you to get your happy ending. We are all rooting for you!"
Well, here's the thing: No. I can't.
If I was writing a novel instead of a memoir, hells yeah I woulda given myself a happy ending by now! I'd be married with a couple of kids and a nice house and a huge backyard and a bigger paycheck and blonder highlights and a smaller waistline and a deeper tan. I would have finished turning this blog into a book and been on tour to visit all of your cities and had cosmo's with every single reader who has supported me from Day One. I would work out every day and host my own cooking show and shop exclusively at farmer's markets. If I was the author of my own life story, I would only date tall guys with six figure incomes, pension plans, health benefits, good hygiene, great families, a strong faith and even stronger arms.
I would not be a mostly broke 32 year old living in a post divorce studio apartment, dragging my ass to Lucille Roberts three times a week, turning to Chips Ahoy and my cats for comfort on a Friday night. I would not consider a full dvr and a half full bottle of wine an acceptable alternative to having a date. I would not have dated a fetishist who asked to suck on my toes on the first date, a hipster who has never left Brooklyn, or a sex foot four electrician who hugged me hello with an accidental erection in the first thirty seconds of meeting me. I would not have dated a court reporter who threw up sushi and still tried to kiss me, two separate guys who put me on the phone with their mothers, or a one armed Cuban prison guard. I would not have dated a Southerner who picked his nose and then tried to hold my hand, a carpenter who picked out our wedding song (before the first date) and made it my ring tone on his phone, or a comic book nerd who cracked open his Darth Vader piggy bank to pay for our date in quarters. And I most certainly would not have dated an eyeglass repairman who took me to the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show where we dressed up as Brad and Janet...except that HE wanted to be Janet.
Thus the tagline to my blog has always been "It's funny cause it's true." My motto will forever remain "You can't make this shit up" because in no one's world are these acceptable behaviors! They're weird and creepy and if you've ever had a crazy ass first date, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So yes, dear reader, I would love to tell you ahead of time not to get your hopes up about any particular guy I'm dating because it doesn't work out in the long run. I, personally, would also like to know on the first date if this is in fact the guy for me. Will I be wasting kisses on a man who I don't spend the rest of my life with? Will I waste days, weeks, months or years falling for someone who doesn't hold my future in his hands? I have no answers to those questions. Perhaps that's what makes the adventure so exciting.
But since you asked, dear morbid ones, we are going to try a little experiment. I am going to tell you the story of dating Jason...not beginning, middle and end...rather I am going to tell it from end to middle to beginning. Because I'm the girl who read the last page of Harry Potter book 7 at 12:01 am the night it was released. Because I'm the girl who goes to the psychic, the fortune teller, the palm reader, the tarot card gypsy in the hopes of getting some insight. I'm the girl who doesn't want to get her hopes up if it doesn't work out. So I'm right there with you.
The story of Jason did not end with riding off into the sunset on horseback, but it did end. The best part? I did not end. I keep going. Jason wasn't the Happily Ever After to my story. He was a chapter in it, and I still hold the pen to decide what comes next. There is power in knowing that although my heart hurts, it will recover like it always does, like it always has and always will. That's the ironic thing about a heartbreak. It doesn't kill you, no matter how much you think it's going to. No matter how much you think "I can't survive another break up," you always come out of it stronger. Maybe you've learned a lesson you didn't think you needed to learn (and very likely, didn't WANT to learn!) Maybe you discovered something about yourself or love or life and you'll be a better partner and a better person because of it. Maybe you just proved to yourself that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
I cannot imagine staying with a man just because I want my happy ending. To me, if I'm not happy, then it isn't the end.