Back in the day before Halloween meant going to the local mall for all the best candy, kids dressed up as their parents walked the neighborhood with them and shouted trick-or-treat when the nice lady or man opened the door. Supposedly if the candy wasn’t good enough a trick would be warranted so out of fear people gave the candy out to appease the ghouls and goblins. Give me a treat or I’ll play a trick on you.
You know that moment when you’re in a relationship and something happens that feels eerily familiar? Like something that happened to you in a previous relationship? I have very little experience in this phenomenon because I married the first man I ever loved. I didn’t date that much and never seriously before my ex. Then I dated a big time horrible liar for two years. Then had two brief and casual maybe…maybe nots until I re-met Harry which is where I am today. I don’t have the kind of baggage that leads me to compare case after case cause you can count my cases on one hand.
So it kind of freaked me out when Harry who has been sick with a terrible cold nodded off last night without saying good night after an awkward conversation about going public on Facebook. Then because of worries about work and the general feeling of the doldrums he avoided me for all of 6 hours or so. The last time this happened I didn’t react well. This time I called a friend and was talked down which was good and I played it cool with Harry. Of course he called me first thing in the morning, and apologized for being hard to reach, and we proceeded to have a normal day.
But there was this moment last night where I was wondering if I was in some kind of weird deja vu experience and another man was running and hiding when something got harder than easy. Easy is easy. If there is anything other than easy and they bail…it’s not a good sign. It was like I was afraid that if I didn’t give him exactly what he wanted I was going to get a trick. This morning I realized nothing Harry has done warranted those thoughts. They are left-overs from treatment I received during a previous relationship.
Today after talking, I told him I shouldn’t have worried so much because we’re best friends and I should have had more faith in him. But he stopped me and told me not to give him an out because what he did was rude and he said he was sorry again.
And then he told me why he loved me and why I was different and I literally blushed as he explained how he viewed me and our relationship. He explained he purposefully did not seek me out like a predator hunting its prey (how I think of a lot of men who date). He told himself and believed we would only be friends. But the day we had our first kiss everything changed and for a while his head would not believe what his heart was telling him. Date after date, experience after experience, the evidence built up that I was “special”. And without pursuing me and despite a real effort to remain “just friends” he fell. Hard.
I’ve heard this before, that I’m “different.” But Harry said that he would leave me and think, how can I be THAT different? He said 42 years of evidence from experience was compared against this little blonde girl who was somehow erasing the cynicism that had developed over his lifetime and he began to believe in innocent love again. Day after day it continued. And even now after nearly 7 months dating we’ve had very little conflict and always have amazingly wonderful, long, and intimate conversations that leave us both stunned. He would ask himself, “Is this real? Can two people really like each other THAT much?” But it keeps being proved over and over again. It’s something he’s always wanted but didn’t believe existed.
I don’t know why or how it happened, only that it did.
He tried to explain how we are different from any previous relationship. All I know is it was amazing to hear a man swoon over me and mean it. I told him that a friend has a picture of John Cusack holding the boom box above his head and said, “I want to be loved like that.” And I thought to myself this evening as he was going on and on about how much he loved me and how he wanted to be looking into my blue eyes when we were all old and wrinkly thinking, wow. I AM loved like that.
I realized that this time I’m not being tricked. This time in the center of my bones I feel certain that I’ve met my husband. We are thinking April and he wants to move to a high-rise over looking the ocean in Long Beach after we’re married. Maybe pie in the sky, maybe not. I asked him when he thought we might move and he proceeded to explain the timeline; the how, the where, the whys and I sat stunned again. I was amazed that he’d thought it through that much or even if it was on the spot he had all the dates and details. He really wants this for real too…wow. We talked about the kids and waiting to settle down someplace real until we knew where the kids would end up after college. We talked about renting out my house and putting the profit from the rent into a trust that could only be used for college money to make sure my assets stayed with the kids.
It was an amazing conversation. I teared up twice and kept shaking my head thinking just simply, wow.