Archives for posts with tag: relationships

headphones

There are recurring soundtracks in my life most of them are around the theme of relationships.  Falling in love. Falling out of love.  I went from making mixtapes in my childhood bedroom to playlists on YouTube.  Crushing on him.  Does he notice me?  Does he feel the way I feel? I think he likes me.  Does he know the way my heart beats for him?  Does he see the way my smile shines brighter when he is around?  I love him.  Does he feel the way that I feel?  Does he know that I’ve already planned our wedding?  I think he’s pulling away.  Does he see how much this hurts me?  Does he know my heart is breaking?  Its really over.  Did he ever really care about me?  What am I supposed to do now?  The cycle.

There was a question asked on Twitter the other day: What song was ruined for you by a previous relationship?  Where shall I start?  The Accountant ruined Retrograde x James Blake.  The Engineer ruined Get Away x The Internet.  The Actor ruined So Gone x Jill Scott ft Paul Wall.   I once loved these songs they were part of our relationship soundtrack, but after our time ended I could not listen to them without feeling a way.  And so I let the music die.

I thought more about it, why would I let someone take my music from me?  Did they really take it?  Am I still emotionally connected to these ghosts through these songs?  Or do I just think I am?  I sat down with a glass of Mezcal and pressed play on these hidden playlists.  And while my mind did recall a time we had or the emotion attached when the song was added, I didn’t react the way I thought I would.  I didn’t cry.  I didn’t get angry.  I really didn’t feel much of anything.  Music reborn.

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Yesterday I was on my way out the door traveling to Nashville to witness the nuptials of my friend Holleh when I received devastating news: my boyfriend broke up with me. To say I was caught off guard is an understatement. I couldn’t believe the words. After dealing with my upset stomach, I drove 175 miles in silence trying hard not to think about anything.

The wedding was beautiful. So much love and joy and excitement. I sat there surrounded by friends all brought together to support this glorious union and it just felt like I wrapped in love.

I won’t go into the details of our relationship or breakup but he didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t treat me poorly or betray me. He’s actually the first relationship that didn’t end in fire and brimstone. And while my heart hurts, it feels like an elephant has his foot on my chest, I am surprisingly okay.  The wedding for me wasn’t a distraction from my pain but a bit of healing and a reminder of what I want for myself.

What’s next for me?  I have no idea but I am confident that my time will come. Better not bitter.

When I was young,  we rarely went out to dinner but when we did my mother always made a spectacle of the event. I would put on my nicest church dress,  shine up my patent leather shoes and grease down my legs; I was fancy. My mother would remind us that this was a special treat,  we were to behave in the restaurant,  use our manners and never waste food.  We followed these rules carefully policing each other’s behavior for fear of having such a privilege taken away.

My meal consisted of the same thing: garden salad with 1000 Island Dressing,  strip streak cooked well,  baked potato with sour cream and lots of bread. But the highlight of my evening was the after dinner mint. I was especially partial to the chocolate and mint candies,  maybe it was because I was amazed how such a strange combination could be so delicious. Or maybe it was because my older brother hated them which meant not only could I eat mine but his too.

After dinner mints were so fancy to me. It wasn’t just striped peppermints thrown in a bowl anyone could grab multiples of on their way out the door. It was even better than the pillow mints my father kept in his office that I loved so much I would suck them slowly until the sugar melted into my tongue. No, these delectable chocolates were brought on a small plate with the bill and served chilled. You had to handle them with care,  gently unfolding the foiled wrapping to reveal layers of chocolate and mint. Careful not to hold them in your hand too long or the thin chocolate would melt and create a mess.

While these mints weren’t served until the end of the meal to me they signified the completion of the event. The final step to a wonderful evening.  Imagine my surprise when I would walk by empty tables and see them left behind,  discarded as an afterthought. Or worse yet,  tossed into the bottom of a purse where they would surely melt and impart chocolate goo onto keys,  school pictures and grocery receipts. Didn’t they understand the gift the had been given?  These are the kind of people who exit the car before their favorite song goes off on the radio. People who open a birthday card, take the money out and toss it aside without reading the personalized message. People who toss out the bouquet of flowers when the Roses start to wilt,  but the Alstroemeria still haven’t bloomed. They have no appreciation for the little things.

I feel such a strong connection because my love is shown in little things. Fixing your shirt collar or the hem of your pants before you walk out of the door. Buying a magazine on a quick trip to Kroger because it has an interview with that artist you like. Saving a penny because it was minted the same year you were born. Mailing a just because care package filled with your favorite snacks. Washing,  vacuuming,  and filling up the gas tank of your car before returning it to you. Painting my toes your favorite color. Removing the ingrown hairs you keep picking at in your beard. Picking up new shoelaces for your shoes because the aglet has worn and the ends are frayed. Rubbing aloe and shea butter on your back after a long day in the sun.

My love is the after dinner mint. Small gestures that are seen as standard and often overlooked. A simple offering with little monetary value that is forgotten no sooner than it was consumed. Ignored,  left behind,  tossed in the pocket of your jeans and reduced to an afterthought you only remember when you discover the wrapper in the washer.

We’re playing this game of tag, but I don’t want to be chased.

Playground games are not for me.

I want to be chose.

By you, for you.

No more running.

Let me stand at your side: support, comfort, love and protect.

The sun is setting, the street lights are on, and my mama is calling me.

Playtime is over.

The choice is yours.

playground

Dating after divorce has been an interesting experience.  I have had to take an introspective look at myself, my needs, wants and desires and establish what I expect from a mate as well as what I myself bring. What I know for sure about myself is that I am not a pursuer, I am a reciprocater.

I believe that the man should take the lead in a relationship. A man should engage, attend to and court his potential mate fervently.  She should always know what his intentions are and where she stands in his life.  Now of course I will make my intentions clear, but I leave it up to him  to establish the overall pace of the relationship.

I know that some men are attracted to take charge women.  I work in a male dominated industry where I have to be on the ball and assertive.  While that is my personality professionally, that is not my style in matters of the heart. I am not shy, prudish or uncertain but I do not enjoy taking the lead whether it is deciding what is for dinner or how it’s done in the bedroom.  I have no problems initiating, but I find rest in submission.

If I want something I have not problem letting it be known, but I am not the “make the first move” type.  I will leave a Hansel and Gretel trail of bread chunks soaked in photoluminescent material so they can be seen in the dark from miles above. You gon’ get these clues. However it is up to him to follow the trail.

As a girl I was raised to believe that I could do any and everything.  I had two strong, traditional male role models, my daddy and my granddaddy, who loved, covered, lead and protected their families.  As a young child I did not readily understand why their word was final and why they were always in the lead. I was a young feminazi bound and determined to re-write the rules, change the game and make my own way.  But as I grew older I discovered that those behaviors were tiring and did not bring me comfort.

I can work hard all day, kick butt and take names but I have no desire to be the primary lead in my relationship.  That is not to say that there is anything wrong with a woman take the lead nor a man who can take a step back. It is just not right for me. A man who leads and me as I nurture and support is love that I understand.

What I learned most from my first marriage is that people have to be loved in a way that they understand that gives them rest.  Everything is not for everybody.  A love that you cannot understand or appreciate is not a love that will prosper and grow.  You have to learn what is important for you, then find someone who reciprocates, and build something great.