Monday, August 10, 2009

on the flip side

isn't it funny the things we love about someone in the beginning, are the same things we can't stand about them in the end? the way they may chew their food; the way they lightly snore at night right after they fall asleep; the way they frown when you tell them something that's the truth although they didn't want to hear it...

i have always found this perplexing. and what's even more so, is the fact that the things you initially hate about that significant other, somehow makes you more determined to be in a relationship with them. they're broke? let's help them get a job. they're a mean drunk? let's help them get sober. they're insecure? let's help them build some confidence...

broken wing syndrome. like whoa.

my friend anne was recently left to the wayside with her boyfriend of two years. we'll call him bill. so bill was a drifter, a smart and kind of shy guy with a very offbeat sense of humor, tall, and relatively handsome. good-looking enough to let the fact that he was 30 and working the foodrunning shift at the restaurant slide. so they had been dating for two years when i met both of them about six months ago upon my move to boston. i thought the pairing slightly strange, but whatever, you can't help who you fall in love with, right?

anne is one of the smartest people i have ever met in my travels. she goes to MIT, is young, and can finish a crossword in an hour without looking on the backside of the page to cheat, like me. she holds up a full time job serving the douches in harvard square in addition to being a full time student at one of the most prestigious schools in the country. she's very quiet but has a razor sharp wit when you least expect it, which makes her even more intriguing. and while her ability to laugh at others and herself is quick and hot, she's incredibly humble and one of the least superficial people i know. not to mention she's naturally gorgeous to boot. so that's always a plus.

so she comes into work one day about two weeks ago overbearingly quiet, and after a couple hours confesses to me that bill has broken up with her. i was shocked - i had just seen them out two nights before and everything seemed fine between them. but here's where it gets ridiculous. she was broken up with because of a compliment about her man's, ahem, member, which was taken in a very different way than how she meant it.

he accused her of only liking him for his body and walked out on her. it makes it so much more insulting considering the fact that she supported him during two stretches of unemployment and stayed with him for the simple fact that she enjoyed his company and truly loved who he was and not what he did. i couldn't help but think what an idiot he was for letting her go, and how lucky she was to be rid of him and his extra baggage.

we went back and forth that day, going over the things she loved and the things she hated about bill, only to come to the conclusion that somehow, those lines had crossed over themselves and flip-flopped. she used to love his quirky laugh, which now made her cringe at the thought of hearing it. she said she never minded the fact that he didn't have a stable job until recently, which she resented him for as he pretty much used her as a plateau for leverage. and i realized...

i have done the same thing with not one, not two, but all of the serious relationships i have been involved with. the same things i fall in love with, are the same reasons why i leave in the end. and vice-versa. every one of the men who have loved me for who i was, hated me for who i was by the time it was over. do i think it's a bad thing? how can it be. i'm still standing, and still happy with myself, and i still believe that i had all good intentions for the men that i loved in return.

do many of them talk to me anymore? not really. i still talk to scott, because he has indefinitely apologized for the way he treated me when we were together in college. i talk to eric every once in awhile but i can tell he resents me for choosing my career over being with him. duffy has written me off completely, and mike... well, i respect his reasons for the change of heart, although i don't agree with some of them. what can i do? we are all only human, and are here for the primary reason to learn through our mistakes.

i don't think i was an angel in these relationships. i don't think that i was the sole mender for their broken wings. but i contributed, no matter where they are in the world or their lives now, and that's all the thanks i can ask for, really. they all did the same for me, and shaped me into the person i have come to love.

anne and i are going out tomorrow night as a mourning process for our exes. we will be wearing some sassy new hats my mother got me from an estate sale with black mesh veils as a tribute to the regret of a loss of a feeling. because now, that's really all i can say that i have.

i'm old enough to know better, but young enough to laugh at all this. it's the only thing i got, and i'm the best at making a meal with leftovers. enjoy the things you love about someone while you do. hopefully, they won't turn around on you one day and freeze over the ability to appreciate both the bad and the good about the ones that you love.



  1. Well put, K.
    It looks like you just keep on building yourself up, and I love it.
    New York, watch out :)

  2. Leftovers are delicious. Sometimes better than the first serving. Yahtzee.


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