Apologue #44: Timing is a Bitch



Kids, your old Aunt Robin knew exactly what she was talking about. Timing sure is a bitch. It’s as if the heavens didn’t have enough to gloat and laugh about from our own daily miseries and decided to add the concept of “perfect timing” as the tip of the iceberg in trying to ruin our decent lives — correction, relationships.

This is the story about how I was once engaged to a wonderful man named Zachery and how horrible our timing was. Zachery proposed during the spring semester of my freshman year in college. Yup, fresh out of high school but fresh into college — what a genius we both were.

It was a time when we were too young and naive to know anything better. Our youthful hearts got in the way of everything and we truly believed that love will solve all our problems. But in all seriousness, we actually planned it out and thought it was a good time. We weren’t that stupid. It just seems those times were ignorant now that I’m wiser and older, or whatever I am now.

I was a freshman starting my pre-med program and he was seven years older and working on his Ph.D towards electrical engineering. We were two nerds in a pod. And frankly, it didn’t bother us much. We’ve already been together for almost two years so school was already much part of our lives. We were just happy to be in the same school together.

We as a couple didn’t do much when it came to the romantic essence of things. We studied, ate, and fell asleep on desks most of the time. He and I were both new to the town and starting fresh, so we didn’t have much friends to hang out either. But it was okay, we pretty much felt married anyways, nagging and all.

After accepting the proposal and planning the wedding we tried to be logical and realistic to the best that we could. We knew each other too well and we both knew that as much as we wanted to be married, the now aspect of things wasn’t a good time. We decided that there really is no use rushing and being the considerate gentleman he was, he knew I needed lots of time to pull off my dream wedding. So, we decided to get married after I graduate from college — he was willing to wait 3+ years for me.

There was never a trace of guilt for having to wait on each other for that long. I wanted to finish school first and at least try and find a decent job and he agreed. He wanted to get most of his program done too before having to worry about marriage life. We managed to be negotiable and understanding as best as we could.

It sounds all good up to here. He was perfect and I was dandy. But time — never holds still for anybody. It wasn’t long, probably half a year, when he started asking funny questions, such as, if I could graduate earlier, what kind of career path I’m looking into, where would I likely want to live, etc. Then he started asking if there was any chance of moving the wedding to an earlier date. I don’t know why, but I started seeing red flags everywhere and I couldn’t explain to myself, why I would in the first place.

I really loved Zachery, I really did. I really wanted to marry him, I truly did. But it scared me to death every time he brought up the topic of bringing up the wedding sooner.

It wasn’t until one day, he went out of town with a couple of friends for some man-time, when he suddenly to call. Naturally, I figured that it was a call about him hitting the road soon or to not wait up. He called to tell me what a great time he was having with the boys and of course, he’d be late but to also check the text he’ll be sending after we hang up. Sure enough, a picture text came and behold, it was a photo of some house. It was extremely beautiful and mesmerizing until I see his text that reads, “I found our dream house. Should we buy?”

I didn’t think he was serious so I brushed it off until he the next day when he asked how I liked the house again. I exclaimed how beautiful it was and asked how’d he find it, but in all seriousness, he asked again if we should buy. I was dead in my tracks. I couldn’t breathe a word to him. I just blankly stared not knowing what to say. I was like a deer in headlights.

He then started raving about how the house is perfect in his ever so excitable voice, and how the city is right in the middle of his parent’s place and my parent’s place so the drive on both sides wouldn’t be too long and unbearable. He then started saying it’s a good time to go ahead and buy it now if we like it so much and then we can move right in without having newlywed troubles of finding a place to go. And he was convincing me that he knew that as soon as he saw the house, he knew that I would love it because it looks exactly like the ones I used to describe on the top of my head on how the porch looks like, or what color it was, or how big the driveway would be.

Zachery really was a great man, and enthusiastic at that. I felt really guilty but it just wasn’t the right time. Rushing everything made me feel as if everything in my future was already predestined because he was taking full control of everything. I didn’t feel happy but more panicky and full of stress and anxiety. I wasn’t relieved that he was being assertive and actually doing something and planning a life for us. It may sound selfish, but this is our life we would be spending together until we die, why weren’t we doing this together? And why on earth is he suddenly rushing when he promised he could wait? What possibly changed?

I tried to persuade him the best that I could that buying the house now isn’t the smart thing to do. We wouldn’t know if that city is where we would be 2-3 years from now after we graduate. We wouldn’t know if we would be able to find good jobs that we like in that city. We just wouldn’t know of anything that could possibly happen that could deter our futures.

Zachery, of course, didn’t buy any of that. He went on full macho-man-mode and started going off, “If we’re going to get married anyway, why not sooner so we have more time together?” or “Are you having doubts about this marriage?” or my ultimate favorite, “Do you not love me anymore?”

In the end, without my consent, he bought the house. I believe that he still owns the house but whether he still resides there is unbeknownst to me since it has already been years since we broke up and ended all forms of contact. But when we did break up, not even two days later, he resigned from his workplace, gave up on his degree program, packed up and moved into that house.

As much I know how much (or maybe not so since I am not him) pain that I inflicted upon him, it hurt me too, how much I had hurt him and literally broke him. As much as I wanted to be honest and tell him how afraid I was on the rush, or how I wasn’t ready as he was about this kind of commitment, maybe we could have found an understanding, I will never know.

Maybe if we had met later in life, it would’ve been better and not end like this. Maybe if we had fallen in love later, much later — after we became good friends, I wouldn’t have lost him forever. Maybe if I was stronger and not so emotionally weak and tested, maybe if I was wiser and older and knew what was right and wrong and be able to say it — he’d still be my life and not an empty hole from my past.

I blame it on timing. I really do. I’ll be dead honest when I say that I’d be lying if there weren’t drops of insecurities and hairs of commitment-phobias, but the timing wasn’t right for the two of us to make those kinds of great decisions at such a young age. I wouldn’t have been able to even drink a toast to wine on my own wedding for crying out loud if I had fallen through and gotten married earlier than planned. But of course, who knows if I’d have ended up happy with three kids on my lap by now as I write on my blog.

Nonetheless, as much as I cared for and loved Zachery with all my heart, having that ounce of doubt and dodging red flags meant something, and I probably still would have made the same decision if I had to relive that moment again. I’ll be honest when I confess that I believe I won’t meet a man like him ever again. He’s indeed very special.

Just wish that timing would have thought so as well.

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Apologue #16: The Seven New Basic Relationships of Today

I actually found this interesting post a couple days back (I wish I would have saved the post) that I found amusing yet satisfyingly true to today’s standards of dating compared to dating back in our grandparent’s time or even further than that. It’s sad because it’s true and it’s funny because I actually have experiences in each category. Which by the way, makes me very wary of what will happen in the dating world years after my time and my children or grandchildren will be dating and how many rules and relationship standards will change in their time. But alas, that’s for future me to worry about so let’s roll down to these “Seven Basic Relationships.”

1. The “I like him, he likes her” Relationship.
When the person you love is in love with someone else.

Ouch, yes. This one is a whammy that always hurts. It’s a classic relationship that is equally understandable in all time aspects so I’m glad it’s the first one. With my experience, I feel that I’ve had this happen quite a several times. It’s not something you want to admit or think often about but it happens often because no one can constantly be in love with just, you. This happened a few times with my friend Harry (check back to Apologue #6). As much as we had moments that only we share, Harry has also had one other woman on his other side (which is also who is seeing currently). When timing was against us, he always had his lady friend. When he was away from his lady friend and wanted to pursue me, I always had someone else. We did this back and forth for so many years that I’ve lost count. But we’ve officially haven’t pursued one another in the past four years, so I feel safe so say that we’re both in a place where we belong. This kind of relationship really conflicts with your emotions and it’s something that I personally feel is a waste of your time and shouldn’t linger no matter how much you like your significant other. If they are looking towards someone else and their feelings are true to that matter, than there really is no point trying to block them or make them see your way. Now, having that said, isn’t it odd to want to make someone like you back instead of their own accord? I personally don’t know how happy I would be with someone who made me like them and start a relationship . . . So my advice is it’s better to give up and go look for someone else, and maybe the second time around, they may be available.

2. The “Everyone knows, except them” Relationship.
When two people act like they are together, even though they do not admit it, they still show it.

Oh boo to this too. I may sound like such a downer but it’s true that I don’t like to waste my time (even when I do waste it a lot on other things so easily — at least on things and people that I believe deserve my time). When it comes to these kinds of arrangements, I know it’s a very delicate subject because you’re both trying to figure what what’s going on, but if “everyone” knows, then I’m sure your significant other does too (aka people talk). Whether they’re aren’t asking you out because they’re trying to figure out how to do it or they’re just testing the waters to see compatibility, it doesn’t matter no matter how well they show you what you mean to them until they’re actually telling you how they feel about you. You can act a couple all you want, but it’s not official unless somebody starts talking and straightening things out or it’ll just get messier and harder for you to get out of.

I had a friend that was exactly like this. Theodore and I met in college and have been inseparable friends all the way til graduation. We always hung out together, had dinners together, we’re always on the phone together; people thought we were joined at the hip. He always treated me right and I really thought we had something going on and so started prying around to see if his feelings towards me were true. Sadly, it was literally like he had no effing clue what he was doing. People everywhere thought we’ve already started dating but he had no idea that the actions and words he was saying were really things that people in relationships would do or say. Turns out that Theo has never had a girlfriend and so everything he does was all out of generosity and his mother’s upbringing of him being a good gentleman. It was really tough for me because I thought (and so did everyone else) we could have something real. We carried on like this for almost two years thinking that maybe he’ll snap out of his stupidity and ask me out on a real date. It’s a very sad thing indeed that even to this day, he still has no clue how much he “led me on” with his good-natured gentlemanly ways.

3. The “Love/Hate” Relationship.
When two people fight or argue to make others think they do not have feelings for each other.
I feel that this one is a bit tricky. I don’t know if you’re purposely arguing in front of others to prove you don’t have anything when clearly you do, or you can’t help but argue because of difference in views but still love each other. Either way, both relationships do exist. I’ll pick the latter because that’s the one I have experience with.

Richard was sophisticated and a man strong with his words. He definitely had an indifferent sense of humor and enjoyed reading Poe by candlelight and red wine because that’s what all Poe enthusiasts should do. He was proper but loved taboo. Many nights we would sit arguing over different debate topics and every night, he’d pretty much had me whipped. I didn’t like how his views were so strong and so one-sided but I loved the man that he was, not what of he argued. Our views on religion, politics, literature ALL clashes, but it was our differences that intrigued both of us and probably the cause of what drew us together in the first place. I learned a great deal from Richard. He is one of the few I would never forget.

4. The “Friend Zone” Relationship.
When the person you love only sees you as a close friend.
I feel that I hear this everywhere I go. It’s always talk of the “friend zone” or “I love my best friend.” I have seen and heard some pretty harsh ones out there and sadly, not only is it pitiful if you are the one with the feelings but very manipulate if you are the other that has no feelings. Usually the stories that I hear most when it comes to the “friend zone” are really horrible, I don’t think I’ve ever heard one that was decent and worth thinking over to help the poor guy or gal. The things of horror that I hear about how they bought them an iPod, or a ring, or a car and they STILL haven’t blinked an eye, makes absolutely no sense. It’s makes no sense because it’s BS. Simple as that. It just makes me so sad to hear friends having sacrificed so much for the person they care so deeply about, and the receiver does nothing but willingly takes everything given to them. I really don’t know how some people can just do that as if that is to be expected to have feelings for you. I apologize if I overstepped on some toes, but if you have a story about your friend zone that wasn’t manipulative and sacrificial, please share some with me because I have heard no good stories that have come through and I need more enlightenment.

5. The “Just Kidding” Relationship.
When two people keep breaking up and getting back together.
As ridiculous as this sounds, yes, this one has happened to me too. And just to save the torment of numerous long stories, we got back together twice (so in my defense, it wasn’t all that bad). But you know, these kinds of relationships are really a joke. You can yammer at me all you want, but let me tell you something from my end of the experience in these situations — it doesn’t mean you love them or he loves you and keeps coming back. What this does mean is that a person can change but not as fast or as something you want them to, so you end it and leave but keep coming back and give them too many chances to false hopes and promises the other end can’t keep. It’s relationships that have nothing good in store for you and it’s definitely something you shouldn’t keep coming back for. I know it’s hard because you want to keep your faith in them to change, but seriously, once is enough. If they can’t get their act straight after one chance, there really is no point giving them extra chances for something that can’t be fixed to them if they don’t think it’s broken. End of story.

6. The “Best Friend” Relationship.
When a boy and a girl are just friends, but at one point, they fall in love with each other.
This scenario pretty much sums up most of my relationships. I don’t date strangers that I just met at the mall (STRANGER DANGER!) or go on random drinking soirees with someone I met at a bar. Call me old-fashioned but I like taking steps in getting to know someone, bonding friendships, and then seeing something more and then perhaps dating relations. It’s hard for me to date someone I know nothing of (not that I haven’t dated anyone besides friends), it’s just that I get nervous to find out if they are ax murderers or dungeon masters. So when it comes to the “Best Friend” Relationship, I feel that this is the best bet on most people. We all have someone that is our closest buds that we just can’t live without. You know, that special someone that you dragged every clothing store to, told all your dirty secrets, and knows that you startle yourself to the sound of your own fart when you’re napping but assures you it was them and you still fall asleep (SO did not happen). But you know who I mean, and they are the best. If everything works out perfect and you can be with them forever, I’m so happy for you and I wish you nothing but the best. Because that’s what I’m still looking for. If you’re out there and still looking for this like me, don’t give up because there’s more of us out there than you think, so don’t lose faith.

7. Lastly, the “If You’re Lucky” Relationship.
When the person you fall in love with, falls in love with you
.
At times we do rely on luck to get us by and boy don’t we ever rely a lot on that when it comes to the beginning stages of relationships! When it comes to my puppy love, I believe that Peter was a very big blessing in my life. He really did bring me a lot of luck. We shared many wonderful experiences together and most of them were our first of everything. We shared our first date, our first hand-holding, our first kiss — and when I look back at these lucky moments, luck really played a big part because I feel that it’s so hard to meet someone and both fall in love with at the same time. I think love is such a miraculous and powerful thing. It doesn’t come easy and it certainly does not happen as often as it should. To us it all sounded easy because we were nothing but young teens at this time (Peter is the protagonist of Apologue #1) but as I grow older and wiser with the knowledge of heartfelt emotion, it was really miraculous how we had that one summer of fairy tale-like love that sprouted on us like dandelions even though it is true that it ended like the gusts of wind that blew the seed heads away.

After reading through each category and adding a little bit of myself as well, I feel that I too, fall under these new relationships that are encircling us in this time. As much as I thought I was traditional and classical, one can’t really fall out of the time they live in no matter how different their views. As much as I scoffed and thought these relationships were silly, I took part in all of them. I feel that there are more out there in the making or some that didn’t make the list. Already I can think of some on the top of my head and it’s The “I love him but he doesn’t know I exist” Relationship or The “I’m in love with a fictional character” Relationship (which by the way, I also have experience with aha). But you know, it really doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you are in because the only thing that matters most is who you are in love with now. It can be your friend, your neighbor, your brother’s friend — I don’t care — but as long as you’re true to your feelings and you’re working hard to make it work for the person you care about, there’s nothing else that should matter more. Good luck!

Apologue #4: Our Song

I have a song that I never listen to. It’s such a shame because it’s such a beautiful song that was amazingly written and sung by an extremely talented singer. It’s one of those songs that creep under your skin and cling on to every part of your body that you can’t wretch it out. It sticks to your mind and squeezes at your heart that you feel like you’re suffocating and short of breath. It’s a song that I can sing out to you in perfect memory but it’s also a song that puts me through my misery.

It used to be a song which was “our” song, but it’s no longer ours to share. It’s kind of heart-wrenching and painful when you haven’t heard it in a long time and suddenly hear it after years of practice of trying not to run into it. Listening to the lyrics brought me back so many painful memories of my past (especially the one that this song was dedicated to). It brings back our happiest moments and our worst moments from our journey together.

How can it be that after all this time, listening to it still brings back the tears to my eyes? It’s funny because it became our song when I was the one that sang it as my confession of endearing love. Listening to it again, each word from each lyric stabs my heart. If it still hurts, does it mean that I am still in love with that person? I really, REALLY hope that isn’t so.

A song can be just a song but I guess I personified it so much that it’s begun to haunt me and it feels so real. I first sang this song to someone I loved back in about 2004 or 2005. After the break-up, I didn’t listen to it or come across it for almost seven years. When I did come back to it, I listened to it on repeat for a whole day and just cried in my car as I was driving, with no destination in mind. Just listening and my car to take me wherever the roads led me. I drove a good 300 or so miles and passed through two major cities in my state until I came back home and listened to it some more before drowning in sleep. Now it’s been almost another two years, and I came across it by chance again. It’s funny how I keep coming back to it;  it’s not really a song that was ever popular or played on the radio. Hence it keeps haunting me by drawing me back to the source.

This really scares me . . . Not that I keep running into it, but because I fear that this song isn’t just another memory of my past but something that is still meaningful to my present. I’m currently deciphering my own feelings to figure out if it’s just the pain that brings back the haunting or if I am still in love with the person from my past, that I tried so hard to stay away from. If I’m not, and this all just ceases to a memory, I couldn’t ask for a happier thing. But if I am, not only was that person right all this time in knowing I would never be able to move on . . . but we wasted SO many years trying to fix this thinking that being apart was the best thing for the both of us.