We all have emotional boundaries that we set for ourselves but, all too often, we cross them. With authority and repetition, we can train animals to think and act a certain way. What about when it comes to ourselves? Can we train our emotions to sit and stay?-Marin, Men in Trees
Sunday made it exactly one week since I had last spoken to Birthday Twin. One week with not so much as a drunk dial or a text message. I was proud of myself for staying strong and waiting for him. The last time we talked, he told me that when he gets his anxiety attacks he withdraws from everyone, and that it isn’t personal. He said that when I don’t hear from him to please not be upset, and it has nothing to do with me. That doesn’t stop me from being so frustrated I could scream. It doesn’t stop me from missing him when he’s gone.
I went to church alone Sunday morning, it was only my second time going. I felt that familiar empty feeling when I watched as the couples came in, two by two. I had so much fun with BT being there last week and it really bugged me that I cared so much. I hate it when I start getting down about being alone when there are so many great things about being single. I love my independence, my freedom to do whatever I want for the day. Still, as I sat there I looked at couples holding hands, or husbands absentmindedly rubbing their wives necks while the preacher talked and I just couldn’t help thinking, I want that. I have this fabulous life, and I just want someone to share it with. I don’t think that’s much to ask. I don’t need a boyfriend, I just want one.
When I saw a flyer in the bulletin for a bonfire for that evening, for ages 18-35 I thought why not? The only thing that could possibly turn me off was the idea of some of these churchy types. You know who I’m talking about. The ultra square, dorky, Jesus and I love you type of freaks. But I figured there has to be other people out there like me. More spiritual than religious, looking for other single people to hang with, and tired of meeting them at bars. I figured one evening couldn’t hurt.
As I was getting ready for the bonfire, Funny Guy called. He was nice to talk to, and he told me some wild story about getting in a bar brawl. Cemented the fact that I would never date this guy, but I could still see myself being his friend. I told him about Wednesday night Karaoke and he said he’d swing by.
I got to the bonfire and ended up making a few great new friends. I hung out with a group of people from Uganda that were a riot. They were real, they were funny and not even slightly pretentious. I have a feeling we’ll all definitely hang out again. There were 4 of them and me, and I squeezed into their car to carpool out to the beach. We sang songs and laughed really loud and just goofed around. I found out that like me, they also went out and drank and didn’t stick to any sort of weird strict guidelines for living. That made me feel better about the whole group, and I think I’ll definitely hang out again. Every week they do something different, and the group they meet with is from 24-35. I sort of look at it as a singles mixer every Sunday night. Count me in!
While we were all hanging at the beach, playing soccer and eating hot dogs, I noticed a cutie across the bonfire from me. We had to do this ice breaker game at one point, since there were over a 100 people at this gathering. I found out there were other church groups there so it was 3 times its normal size. I was lucky enough to get paired up with the cutie for the icebreaker, and we talked for a bit. He was sweet, and he was interesting, and I could definitely get to know him better. He works in the medical field, he monitors pace makers for people. I thought that was a pretty cool job, and I started thinking of him as Heart Guy. I figure someone who cares about other people’s hearts just might be careful with mine. He left the mixer early, but he said he’d be back next Sunday and he said he hoped to see me there.
As I drove home with the Ugandans, singing loudly with their mixed CD full of really old club music, I started thinking about BT again. I knew how much he would have loved going to the Bonfire and I felt like I should have called him. I was so filled with bubbly enthusiasm I decided why not, I can call him, after all we are friends. I was headed home and I dialed his number. He picked up right away and said he was just calling me. I gushed about how much fun the evening had been, and how much I wished he had been there. We talked a few more minutes and I caved and invited him over. He showed up pretty quick and we spent the majority of the night talking about our week. I was right, he had been a stress case and that’s why I hadn’t heard from him. He apologized and said how good it was to see me.
We went to bed and I tried hard not to do anything but I couldn’t help myself. He’s irresistible, I can’t help it. Plus I just really love the feeling of being so close to someone like that. Afterwards he started in on his I feel bad and we shouldn’t have done that routine. I told him he’s really going to miss me when I do find someone and he’s going to miss our Sunday night sleep overs. He joked that whoever I date is going to have to be ok with the fact that Sundays are his day. I punched him in the arm and went to bed. Before we fell asleep I told him I want butterflies. I told him I want the big thing and I want a man who would want to call me, and who would gladly commit to being mine. That’s when he curled up around me and told me a story. This one had my full attention, and I fought off sleep so I could hear the whole thing. Unfortunately I passed out because I was too relaxed and happy.
The story was about a princess who was on the search for her prince charming. She was searching the kingdom far and wide. She didn’t find Prince Charming, but she found a nice guy instead. They realized they had the same birthday and all of these things in common. I’m sure you guys are catching on that he was talking about us. 🙂 This was his way of telling me his feelings since he can’t seem to just come out and say them. He said that the nice guy and the Princess spent a lot of time together, and they always had fun. But the Princess got frustrated because he wouldn’t commit, and because he would flake on her. One day he was supposed to come over and he never showed up. She searched the kingdom and she found him high up in a castle tower, unable to leave his room because of panic attacks. She told him she was upset with him, and he told her he was so sorry. He said he wanted to commit but he couldn’t get past the attacks. He said he wished he could be there for her, but he didn’t know how. That’s right about the time it gets fuzzy and I fell asleep.
I thought about BT and his story all day yesterday. I talked to Mama Drama at length about it, and she finally convinced me that I need to talk to him about all this once and for all. She’s right-I keep saying I need to end things and I do. In BT’s defense he knows we need to end things too, and he talked about that last night. He had said he feels bad because he doesn’t want me to feel used, and he tries to just keep things friendly. The only real way we can do that is to stop the sleepovers, but I think both of us enjoy them so much that it makes it difficult. I think I’m quasi addicted to him in that way. I wish there was a way to make my emotions sit and stay, so that I could keep up our weekly ritual without becoming more attached. I wish that I could keep being single and enjoy things the way they are, but I have the all too human condition of wanting more.