Thursday, May 14, 2009

Timing

I've dated plenty of amazing people since my first date at 15 years old. Hell, I didn't get my first kiss 'til I was 16. By today’s standards, I think that makes me a late bloomer, or possibly just extremely prude. Whatever, I went through an awkward stage, don't judge me!

Now, 10 years later.. I'm celebrating my ten year anniversary. My reunion of boyfriends past. There have been plenty of amazing candidates that, given a different circumstance -- a different time, a different place-- they'd have made excellent life partners in crime. But for one reason or another they simply didn't work out.

I have my dating ups and downs like anyone else, but the last major relationship I had really opened my eyes to something. Maybe that's because he thinks this new girl he is seeing could be "the one."

I'm not sure I believe in the whole concept of "the one:" the idea that there is only one person out there that we’re supposed to mesh with. So if you don't find them, you're doomed to wander the Earth the rest of your years.. alone.

In fact, I come from the school of thinking that it’s all about timing. Men don't necessarily marry the best woman for them, more likely the woman at the best time for them. The high school girlfriend may have put up with you and varsity football practice for four years. Your serious college girlfriend endured countless drunken mishaps with you for two. I mean, these women paid their dues. But unless the guy is at the point in his life he feels he can honestly settle down, then it’s really just time wasted.

I can think of one instance in my own life where this case is more than likely true. You may remember this guy from another blog I wrote last November… “The 27 Dresses” guy. He has since been dating the girl I selflessly helped him score. And I haven’t seen him since.

To better understand the situation, I have to give you a little bit of background. The way things ended with the two of us was.. Bizarre. Because they didn't necessarily end, they just went on an extended vacation without notice. Luckily enough for him I'm not the kind of girl to hold grudges, so we remain close friends. I’d be lying, however, if I said I didn't get a little messed up every time we ran into one another. That's because there's still a ton of lingering feelings and tension. For both of us. Too bad were both too career focused and busy to ever really put forth a concerted effort to ask questions or try make it work. When we lived in the same town, it had a chance, but now that were a two and a half hour plane ride away? Well, $hit was nearly impossible.

So imagine my surprise when I found out he was in town this past week and wanted to catch up. Sounded innocent enough. I mean, we were after all friends. That is, until I saw him coming down his hotel escalator, grinning from ear to ear. He had actually managed to put on a nice collared shirt, which for him is practically dressed for a gala at the Moma. And damn him.. He looked better than I remembered.

Then the little voice inside my head bitch slapped my subconscious.

Easy Sterg. We've already been here before, and he's broken our heart more times than the Mets (which in this case is somehow, ironic).

So we set off on our night’s quest: to find the last few minutes of the Houston/Lakers game, and grab a few drinks. Only neither of us knew Times Square. What was supposed to be a quick walk under awnings, turned into a long walk in the rain. At least I had been smart enough to bring my hoodie. Him on the other hand?? Well, I never said he was a brain surgeon.

There we were, running in the rain, dodging puddles, and trying our damnedest to find some obscure sports bar with the game on. But everything within walking distance had closed. So we ended up at a random bar, in a random part of midtown, with no sports scores to distract us. And then, things got awkward.

It’s hard to put up a poker face when the person staring back at you is just as capable at playing the same games you can. They’re just as capable of pulling the same BS, and they know your next move sometimes even before you do. We were just like Rocky and Apollo. We made for great sparring partners, trusted companions, and sometimes.. Even lovers. (Ok, well.. Maybe not the last part, but you totally understood where I was going with that. Then again, there was that one weird beach workout montage. :::shakes head to erase image:::)

First, comes the small talk: about jobs, about family, about pets. And then, about dating. He informed me he was still seeing the girl I helped set him up with, but wasn't really happy. The girl he had built up in his head as some dream girl was proving to be a colossal headache. I, on the other hand, was still single, and while I wasn't happy, I've just been entirely too busy to date anyone. As the alcohol flowed, he quickly began to unload his baggage on me.

"She picks fights with me in public and you know I can't stand my business out there like that. She gets obsessed with being seen, and the drama, and.. don't get me started about money. I dunno Jenn. You were just never like that. You were the kinda girl that was content with blue jeans and a baseball hat, and a six pack of beer. We never had to impress each other. And you enjoy your privacy as much as I do.”

"So, why stick with it if you're not happy?” I asked. “It’s not like you're the kinda guy that has trouble getting girls. You just tend to fall for the wrong ones."

He nodded shamefully and took a swig from his Jack and coke.

"You’re right. I need a girl that has her own thing going on. This one just has too much time on her hands, and she's driving me crazy. I mean she tried to move in with me! I got news for her, $hit ain't happening. I mean, I don’t want to date someone whose only ambition is to be a club rat. Sometimes Jenn, I just dunno if I want a girlfriend. Other times I think, maybe this one just isn't the one."

I'm thinking. Well, duh you moron. He never seemed to know what he wanted. He just always wanted whatever he thought he couldn’t have. But, part of knowing someone the way we know each other.. is understanding the parts of the person that no one else sees. He really needed someone that understood him, his quirks, his obsession for Guitar Hero, and his demanding career. He and I have been down this road many-a-times. He just always ended up being distracted along the way, too much to see what's been right in front of him all along.

I could see the wheels in his brain turning, and the poor hamster doing its best to keep up.

“So,” he asked, “what about you??.. Any new developments in the love life department?”

"HA. Hardly. And if it makes you feel any better,” I conceded, “you were right about THAT guy too. He was clearly just out for a piece, but at least you warned me before it was too late."

"Yeah, I'm sorry Jenn. It’s just, you’re genuinely a good person. I just didn’t want to see you get hurt again. People talk, and I had heard a few things. I just felt like you should know what you were getting into. I felt like $hit telling you. But, its better you found out now before it got serious, right?"

"Yeah, I guess"

He clearly had more to say, but he’s never been the greatest of communicators. Then again, what men really are??

Last call came and went rather quickly, and the two of us walked back to his hotel. The silences were long.. And again, very awkward. I mean, what are two people in this position supposed to say?

Finally, I'd had enough of the bull$hit.

I turned to him and said, "Look, we both know there is something there. We end up in this same place, same predicament every time, with the same result: both of us messed up in the head. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different outcome. I’ll always be there for you, but I'm tired of being your life coach while some other girl reaps all the benefits. So we can continue to pretend like this conversation never happened if it helps you to sleep at night, but me? I'm tired of denying the obvious."

I kissed his cheek, wished him well, and turned to walk away. He just stood there, once again dumbfounded. I continued my walk home in the rain by myself sans umbrella, but for some strange reason I didn’t really mind. In the course of your adult life you’re bound to encounter a storm or two, you just have to learn to dance in the rain. Here I was, just embracing it. After all, life isn’t just about the things you do, but the things that simply happen to you. I’m not saying you can’t take action to affect the outcome, but I do know that on any given day you can step out your front door, and your whole life can change. That’s because the universe has a plan for all of us. And that plan is always in motion. It’s scary how all these seemingly little things all add up to make sure you end up at exactly the right place, at the right time… right where you we always supposed to be.

My time in New York may not have worked out exactly the way I had planned, but it was all leading me to my next journey, right? Life had thrown me a couple of curve balls, but I was somehow still in the game. And there was no doubt in my mind that this would not be our last at bat. It was simply the end of another inning. There would always be a next time. And who knows?? Maybe then things would be different. Maybe it would be the right place, and the right time… where things would all make better sense. For both of us. Because it’s really all about the timing, isn't it?

9 comments:

SACK-U said...

wow. that was an amazing read.

Anonymous said...

You wrote an interesting blog. For me it was the right time to hear it. It seems that timing is everything in this world. If you've ever seen the movie "Sliding Doors" you'd probably agree that what you see largely depends upon timing of circumstancial events. I wish you the best with your next "inning"

DecentMan

Nightfall said...

Great Blog Jenn, gotta disagree with you on the whole timing issue though...actually I kind of agree but I think it applies to both sexes, not just guys. Females kind of function the same way in the sense that whatever guy they are with at the time they feel they should get married is who they end up with. Which is why so many girls (and guys) pass on a great person they are with when they are 19, 20 or 21 simply to settle for a lesser person at 25-30. At 20 the "timing" is wrong so people are less inclined to work at the relationship and so they inevitably break up. But at 27 most people and females especially feel time is running out and they seem to be more willing to stay in the relationship and try to work things out. Personally I think there's a lot more to it than timing...which explains why so many fail eventually.

Ryan said...

You hit the nail right on the head...I just had this exact same conversation relayed to me about 2 or 3 weeks ago, by my current/ex/who knows what we are. It was frustrating to hear at the time, and even a bit difficult to fully grasp at the time, but seeing it and reading it from a third party such as yourself continues to help things fall into perspective.
The funny thing is that the timing issue had always been reversed where I wasn't necessarily ready to settle down and such, but then when I finally am, it is she that is not quite ready. Life has a funny way of throwing those curves at you from time to time...

Anonymous said...

Awesome Jenn!! It's those type of internal connections that will draw you too together before you know it, and in the mean time keep you focused on the prize. Sounds like a good guy! Probably some small town Florida Jewell, like myself!!;P

I've been through somewhat of the same circumstance with my GF. As many times as we tried to walk away, some higher power alway's drew us back together. I can say one thing we've learned from it all is, what's meant to be, will be, and now after 6 years I can honestly say I have the girl of my dreams. It's also very weird to think at one point in our relationship we didn't think we were right for each other, and sometimes I think it was possibly because we were actually very right for each other and it scared us away. Everyone say's your brain can overcome anything. To me, your heart can overule any decision your brain makes with a flick of the switch.

Again great read, and good luck!!

Go Noles
Joey

Veritas said...

First of all, I think you might already understood that none of us that comment on your blog is here to judge you, from what I’ve read from the other comments and from what I write, we are your support and advice group, the ones that are here by your side whatever the outcome may be.
So your first kiss was at 16, so what?! You’re not going to tell me that there is a rule, or a point’s chart that defines if a person knows how to deal with relationships based on that.
I believe each one starts when one feels it’s the right time.
Now if I can give you a little piece of advice “Stop dwelling in the past” believe me your life would be so much simpler if you could do just that.
I’m sure you had allot of good times with your ex-boyfriends and that you also had your heart broken, sometimes by little stupid acts that one or the other may have done; but dwelling in the past will not shine a new light in what you most do or how your going to meet the right guy, because honestly it’s just a waste of precious time, because has you know the clock is always ticking and you know that I know that better then most people.
So, have fun, meet new people, if necessary have your heart broken again, but never look back, always move forward, it’s the only way you will find full accomplishment.
Now, this guy you just talked about, I know I’m going out of line here, but real friends tell you the truth and not only what you want to hear and so I’ll be the most honest has I can be; Jenn you and this guy you just talked about, you two just aren’t meant to be together.
You know, like I know that love might have its ups and downs but in the end when we really love another, there his understanding, compassion, patience, tolerance and above all trust in one another; and I’m really sorry to tell you this but I don’t see that on both of you.
You could be great friends, but trying to turn bronze into gold simply isn’t possible.
Love is simple if we understand its rules.
And simplicity between you two never seem to have been in the top of your relationship with him, I might be mistaken but again I’m just adding to all the facts you told us about the two of you.
People might tell you and I agree “There is a right time for everything” and in a way what I’m seeing is that little cling to the hope that one day all things will workout, I’m not going to tell you they aren’t, rather I’m going to ask you “Looking back at both your story, do you really believe that?”
You said it right, it’s all about timing, but what I believe is that that timing is reserved for new people, new experiences and new goals.
But what you’re going to do when the bell rings and the countdown to zero starts it’s all in your hands, and whatever your decision may be; know that we your fans got your back always.

jason said...

i couldnt agree more. reading your blog helps me keep my life in check. to know other people struggle with the same crap i do really helps me out. your blog is so real and from the heart and thats why i love it. keep on writting and i will keep on reading. and hopefully we will both keep on growing.

Marv Dumon - Examiner.com Writer said...

this was a very educational read. im glad ive progressed enough in my life to experience less tension in similar situations

Anonymous said...

Hello Jenn,
I am an FSU graduate. I agree that timing is a major factor in dating. There are other major factors. I was a graduate student at FSU and finished last December. It was my 2nd master's degree.

The main problem with FSU was that the social life primarily targets undergraduates (18-22). As an older graduate student in his 30s, I found this hard. I wanted to date someone my age with the same religion (Catholic). But those women from that demographic group were mostly non-existent at FSU. The campus age range is mostly under 22 and Protestant. So it was a mismatch. Tallahassee is a former Confederate town in the "Bible Belt." A GIS student gave a powerpoint on the religions and political demographics of North FL. It really is like a southern Confederate region.

I did find one Catholic woman closer to my age, but she already had a boyfriend. The only women who liked me at FSU were undergraduates who drank too much. I remember going to Church one night at St. Thomas More to pray. It was Catholic Lent. I drove out, then these four drunk FSU women saw me and tried to get into my truck (e.g. girls gone wild). It was ridiculous. I guess they were coming back from that college bar by McDonald's on Tennessee St. They were beautiful, but I outgrew that "party phase" way back in the 1990s. Every time I hear that wacky Katy Perry song, it reminds me of those four women at FSU who stormed my F-150. I'll bet at least one of them had HPV.

So FSU does have beautiful women, but they are mostly between 18-22 and either Protestant or not very religious. As a devout Catholic from Generation X, I was out-of-place. So I am hoping to move to Miami. I did have a Catholic girlfriend awhile back from Indian Rocks Beach (also an FSU graduate student), but she dumped me for a guy who wasn't Catholic.

The social life is perfect at FSU for a southern, Protestant male who enjoys NASCAR, tailgating, night bars, and FSU football. But for me it was a mismatch. So I am moving to Miami, FL soon (I hope). The only real fun I had at FSU was with intramural basketball. I was a team captain.

Best wishes on your future Jenn. You are beautiful and smart. Take care. Despite the dating mismatches at FSU, I revere my education. I am also Native American and did not have a problem with the use of the Seminoles as a symbol. I like their story of survival in the 1800s. I am comforted by the fact that Miami is a "sure thing" for a Catholic guy from Generation X who wants to find a wife. Miami women are great like in that show "Burn Notice."

FSU Graduate from Generation X Moving to Miami