There are two kinds of women on this planet, women who walk past the store window and fall in love with a pair of shoes that they desperately want to have and go into the department stores swearing that they will only try them on to find themselves leaving with two or three new pairs. And then there are women who buy a new pair of shoes when they desperately need one and almost cringe at the thought of having to pick new ones out. And it’s not because its not fun to shop its just that good new shoes are hard to find.
I admit I’m not a big shoe person. I try them on at the store and they seem a good fit; they seem comfortable, but invariably the first time I wear them, there is something that bugs me. The edge of the heel pokes at my ankle, there is a bump where a seam got botched on the inside right by my big toe. The arch is too high, or too low. The color isn’t exactly right with the outfit. Whatever it is, there is always something. This is also usually what happens when I meet someone new. There is something right away that rubs me the wrong way.
With shoes, sometimes I try to stretch them out if they are too narrow, or too tight. I put pads in them if they are a bit two big. Sometimes I just plain old suffer through wearing them in hopes that after a few times they will “become” comfortable. And sometimes I can’t bear to wear them anymore and they just sit in my closet. But sometimes, and this is very rare, I buy a pair of shoes and they are like a dream come true. Truly beautiful, truly comfortable, and a perfect fit. They are durable, and end up lasting 10 years. When I find a pair of shoes like that I tend to hang onto them and wear them often. I can walk past any shoe rack and I’m not enticed because I know that 99% of them may be pretty, and colorful, and trendy but they are also stiff, and uncomfortable.
And maybe that is how I see dating. Some people revel in it. They love trying out new types of people. They find it interesting, and are enticed by mens style, charisma, clothes and cars. They don’t get too attached but are just out to have some fun.
I tried being that way with my friend from England. I tried looking at this new opportunity as just a good thing in my life that was fun and I tried to keep it light. I tried not to think too much. But seriously, since most the time when I meet new people I find something I don’t like almost instantly…that first night I met him I knew that he was something special. He bent down to pick up my purse for me when I walked away and forgot it. He sang silly songs and told me he liked The Sound of Music, qualifying the last bit making sure that I understood he was a heterosexual. He was like that rare, rare shoe you try on and instantly it is a perfect fit.
I was not looking to find Mr. Right in Ireland. I was not thinking I was even starting to date!! But I found someone who is proving to be lasting, and good, and right, and real. But this is where I’m running into some trouble It is getting serious quick. And I’m having trouble at times (and only sometimes) staying brave about this. I’m so afraid of getting hurt again. But I know him so much better now and it hurts his feelings when I expect the worst. He understands my fears but he wants to be judged for what he’s done not for what my husband has done to me. He’s not even touchy about it. He’s been very understanding but last night I think I went too far. And I said something that hurt his feelings. He let me know and I tried to explain but I dug a deeper hole and we ended up getting off the phone abruptly. Granted it was very late at night and we were both tired, but it felt awful.
I woke up the next morning hoping there would be a “good morning email.” I have received one everyday since November 15. That is nearly 4 months. But there was nothing. And it scared me. I realized how much I have come to rely on communication with him. How accustomed to him I have become. How much I loved him. And how much I hated not knowing what he was thinking or how he was feeling. I was afraid he was going to tell me that he had made a big mistake getting so close so quick and now that he knew me better he thought maybe it was best to back off. I was so afraid to hear him say those words.
Finally at around 11:00 AM he logged onto Skype and I waited for him to phone me, but after 3 or 4 minutes I couldn’t wait any longer and phoned him instead. And it was difficult to hear disappointment in his voice. I hate letting people down. I hate not living up to their expectations. And he really did nothing wrong. I was just scared and I’m still working through fears from being rejected and left by my husband and I let that effect how I treated him. And I know it was wrong but I think he understood why it happened. He just didn’t like it. And he was mature enough to tell me. We discussed it and we both felt a whole lot better.
When he was silent this morning I felt the space between us. And I reminded myself this is why I tried to talk myself out of it in the beginning. He lives 6,000 miles away. And everything we do right now is expensive and is a big deal. It’s not like him deciding to ask me out on a date. He has to spend lots of money and 11 hours in the sky just to see me. I’m very grateful he is willing and able to come out for a visit again next weekend. I’m grateful for email and for smartphones and for Skype. I’m grateful that we will have a chance to “make up” in person soon. I can’t wait. But for now he feels very far away. He’s sleeping but will be getting up soon to have a chat with me before I have to go to bed. And hopefully before too long this long distance romance will be over and he’ll have moved out to California. He has a job interview for a transfer at the end of March. Cause when you find that pair of shoes you know. You know? You know.