Saturday, October 16, 2010

Suburban Girl Reflects: A History of Dating - Chapter 1

She met him one hot summer day in Central Park for a picnic. She was brought by a friend who was brought by another friend to attend his picnic, which was a mishmash of random people and their... friends.

She'd heard about him before. "You're going to love this guy," they told her. And they meant it in the scary way, not in the new best friend way. She was nervous and excited and skeptical. She spotted him right away: tall and handsome with a beautiful smile and a full laugh.

She knew they were right when she slipped in mud and dirtied her favorite ballet slippers. He jumped up, held her hand as he tried to brush away the mud while she balanced on one foot. Damsel in distress was her specialty, and it always worked wonders.

As the crowd settled and people began to drink, she watched him intently. He was everything she thought she needed and boasted a brilliant accent to boot. She was smitten, and later found out he was too.

"See this picture?" he said to her in bed a month later.
"Oh my gosh, is this from the picnic?" she sounded genuinely surprised.
"I look at it every day" he smiled as he wrapped her up into his arms.

She was warm with feelings for him, though unclear exactly what they meant. He had infiltrated her group of friends and she did his as well. She and he were inseparable through the summer, into the fall, and cuddled up through winter; giddy about the new year.

Then, things started to shift. "I hate I'm smaller than you," he would say under his breath, cursing his naturally thin physique. She loved that about him - he was tall and lanky with long arms that fit perfectly around her.

"I hate that you have a job and I'm unemployed," he would say after drinks at dinner. She, feeling the need to protect him, would say she'd give anything for his freedom. She'd help him forget through kisses and hugs. She'd change the subject to something else.

"I'm actually just a big asshole. You really have no idea." She just stared at him; not sure how to respond at all.

On New Years Eve they had separate plans, which she was grateful for. "I need to be more grounded in my girlfriends," she told one of them as they dressed for a house party. She hid behind that excuse, but she was anxious and uncomfortable. A feeling in her stomach told her there was something more.

They broke up in January after several tearful phone calls and a screaming match on 56th & 6th during rush hour foot traffic.

Heartbroken, she ran through a list of all the things she'd done for him during two and a half seasons together. "YOU did those things because you wanted to!" he shouted back, leaving her both speechless and confused. As she stood there, wide (and dry) eyed, he just walked away. On the corner of 56 & 6th, she watched him dart through traffic, feeling her hands shake.


Editor's Note: I've been doing some reflection on my previous relationships - remembering what I've been through, what I've grown from, what was entertaining, what was heartbreaking. Still very poignant for me, I thought this could be a nice series for the blog. I hope you enjoy. Xx.

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