Sunday, June 28, 2009

THE BREAK UP

"So let's leave it alone, 'cause we can't see eye to eye.
There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy.
There's only you and me, and we just disagree."
-- Dave Mason, "We Just Disagree"

What a break-up song! And today particularly, it resonates with me. Big time.

Love is a battlefield. Love is strange. Love is a many-splendoured thing. It has as many meanings as there are people too fall into it. For some, it's enough to know that it's out there. It's enough to know that there is someone, somewhere out there who cares. But for me, that is not enough. For me, the point of being in a romantic relationship is spending time together, sharing experiences, actually logging face-to-face time. I've tried the long-distance thing. It doesn't work.

Unfortunately, he didn't see things my way. Although he lives 30 minutes away by car (with his family, of course -- this is, after all, Argentina, where no one leaves home until they qualify for Medicare), he was fine seeing me once a week, or once every other week. In one and a half months, we saw each other exactly five times, although cumulatively, we spent days talking online. My friends thought I looked kind of sad. A man in love should not look kind of sad. But there I was. My poker face wasn't fooling anyone.

Saturday nights were supposed to be for us. It was our date night. He'd always have to leave before sunrise in order to avoid his mother's nagging questions about who he was with and what he'd been up to. But Saturday nights were ours. Unless something more important came up. Tonight it did. Do I spend my only free night of the week with Jeremy, or do I go to see Transformers 2 with my family? Tough choice? Hardly. Jeremy can wait until Wednesday. Or next Saturday. Transformers isn't going anywhere, but better to disappoint Jeremy, my boyfriend whom I haven't seen in a week, than to disappoint people I see every day.

Two weeks ago, when he told me that he was be going to see Transformers with his family on date night, I was disappointed, but I played good sport (here it comes again: mum mum mum mah poker face, my poker face). I hoped that he'd do the right thing and come up with an alternate day or night to get together. He suggested Friday. But I knew it wasn't to be. On Friday morning, he complained about lingering flu-like symptoms from Monday that hadn't been mentioned again all week -- until now. I got the picture. We wouldn't be seeing each other tonight. He had better things to do: helping his best friend set up her wireless connection at home.

I'm not sure whether it was the result of a lack of interest (despite all of his pretty, ultimately hollow, words, like "I love you with every cell in my body"), or if he just wanted to maintain the status quo at home. Maybe it was both. As important as he said I was to him, I wasn't important enough for his parents, who are well aware of his sexual preference, to know about me -- although he had no problem brazenly referring to his "mum" as "my mother-in-law"). So he sneaked around, making up excuses to come and see me. Who knows if one night a week was enough for him? Maybe he was happy racking up hours of MSN time, talking about how he loved me more and how much he missed me but not actually seeing each other.

But for me, it wasn't enough. I needed to be in an adult relationship (which I now realize was a ridiculous thing to expect with a 21 year old living at home and working for his parents, regardless of his level or maturity). I wanted walks in the park, romantic dinners in restaurants, mornings spent in bed reading, eating breakfast, kissing. I wanted to be with the person I loved, the person who said he loved me. I wanted a grown up, an independent man. But what I got was a little boy with an admittedly beautiful mind.

My life in a couple felt a lot like my life as a single person, only with less company. I couldn't even go out and look for what I was missing at home. So I had to let it go. Sometimes love just ain't enough. Sometimes saying you are in love just ain't enough. Sometimes it's important to show, not tell.

Tonight I needed to see him and told him so. But it was all "arranged" (his word, not mine). He had to see Transformers with his family, and apparently, no other night would do. And no alternate plan was suggested, by him, or by me (who, by this point, had kind of lost interest anyway). He made his choice. I, in turn, made mine. Now, he's just another page in my diary.
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