How To Get Over Someone You Love - Nevermind, This Is About The Ex I Never Got Over
- Dating, Lifestyle
The day I met the ex I never got over, I wasn't paying attention. It was before I did sales at the gym and consistently sold memberships in my tiny white tennis skirt, without ever having never played even an hour of tennis in my life. It was prior to me saving the aforementioned Gym as 'Queen of Member Retention,' and before I moved up the ladder of corpor-Hate America. Sorry, I have trouble saying that word. And before I became anything that I happen to be (on some days) proud of today, it was before I became who I am. I worked the front desk. Yes. I did. I made $9.75 an hour (which was good for back then) and I worked the desk greeting folks that came in and out. I fiddled with pens and post it notes, I daydreamed. In the midst of it all a man in all his carefree bliss, came in once, sometimes twice a day, and my job (or the game I played) was to remember the members by name before they swiped their key card and our POS system showed us who they were. Every time I saw him approaching, I lost most of my nerve. He was toffee nougat-colored, which was different than my prior ex who was mixed black and white, lol, Chiquita colored. He was different. I date blue, red, purple, beige, doesn't matter long as he treats me right, but I generally find myself drawn to complexions my color or much lighter, smooth skin, big ridiculous smiles, and boldly-bordering-cocky personalities. Intelligent as all ever.
But he was a shade darker than I was, and he wore basketball shorts and a wife-beater tank top. Wha? You have your preferences, I have mine. It wasn't just the confidence, I can tell you all with a straight face that his walk had a lot to do with it. I could pick this man out from more than fifty feet away by the way he walked. I can also tell you with a straight face that I'm still in love with that walk today. In all kinds of love. This has nothing to do with the rest of him. But this guy, daily, would walk in, smile, wink, or say hello, and for at least three weeks this went on without any further conversation. If my heart weren't beating so fast, I'd have sworn I died. Each time. I got frustrated with it all soon enough and figured I'd avoid the awkward. So when I saw him approaching I took off to the loo. Why stay and be tortured? He wasn't interested, he wasn't asking me out, he was just flashing his Colgates at me and moving on for his workout. When I returned there was a single pink flower and my name spelled incorrectly, and a stick figure picture of him (apparently looking for me) with a question mark. I was blinking my eyes so hard my co-worker had to cover me at the front, folks were walkin' in all willy nilly not swiping their key cards. I was staring at the paper so long my co-worker was like-- 'Lanii, it ain't in 3-D' I was what back then I would've said was called 'trippen',' and then I didn't see him again for two, maybe three days. When he came in again, there was another note, something about him missing my face and him having the flu, with a cute little sick stick figure. He waved me goodbye that day and I might have creamed. Can girls cream instantaneously like that? Nevermind, don't answer. Over the next few weeks, more smiling, more flirting, even struck up a good forty minute conversation in which my sweet boss (James at the time) overlooked because he saw me glow like a worm in the best dirt-bliss ever. Then one day I snapped. I couldn't take it. He sees me, leaves notes if he doesn't see me. Has great conversation. But he doesn't ask me out, doesn't ask for my number, doesn't offer his. He just, doesn't. I can't like any man too much that 'doesn't.' There was no ring on his finger so what was it? I had to know. I asked what the heck was going on and played it off with more laughs. I nearly screwed the whole thing up by accidentally telling him he 'reminded me of my 'almost step-dad,'' which was pretty much a party-foul, but I'm notorious for messing things up when I like someone. I'll stop there because a lot of this story may go in my memoir, but he didn't call right away. It was like he forgot me in the slush pile, then came back to me last. It ended up being the longest relationship I've had to date, and I may start a series of short stories about the 'thrills and chills' we had. But the most important thing was: I learned something. And if nothing else that is what this life is about. That is what any and every bit of anything we go through is about. By the time the man called me I'd built up so many unrealistic ideals about him that I could hardly contain myself. What he did, best, was master the balance of wait and want. When I was next to him, the way he smelled might have caught my lungs on fire, I would breathe him in so deeply. I consider myself a somewhat narcissistic person, I think to be a writer to some extent, one has to be. But at that time this man's well being became more important than my own. Stephen Dobyns is quoted in his poem Desire saying 'What is desire but the wish for some relief from the self?' The more he cared about me, the more I was propelled into caring about him... but really, he just showed me that he wanted me, then made me wait. Later we unraveled, slowly and painfully, but Kim Addonizio said it best in her book Ordinary Genius:
But do not let us quarrel anymore. And never let us speak again. Or always let us try forever. - Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius
What I found was that I am no longer 'in love' necessarily with him as a person, but rather a mixture of his qualities and tendencies. With further study of myself I also came to terms with the fact that there are a lot of other people with the same temperaments, and even the same mannerisms. I 'got over it' once I accepted the fact that I may not ever get over a person, and accepted that it may not be meant for me to do so, but I will grow into a better me because of the experience. Some say pick your battles, some say choose a person whose flaws you can love the most, for me, I'm pretty picky, I suppose I'm not 'all in,' unless a person shows me that he can not only not give up so easily, but better, that he can 'try forever.'
Special thanks to Heartdutchess for the picture.
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