Holes in our Hearts

As you might have been able to tell, the Laura and Peter saga is from the ghosts of friendships past. After the moving out/move back in fiasco, my friendship with Laura faded. Recently, I caught up with an old acquaintance that also knows Laura. She told me that Peter and Laura are to be married in 2011. My opinion on their relationship is not valid based on how stale it is. The drama and the shadiness happened over seven years ago back in college and most likely does not play a factor in their current situation.

If anything, Laura is a more tolerant woman then I will ever be. I do not have the ability to forgive and forget as she does. Knowing that Peter cheated at least once would put a roadblock in my ability to trust him. I can only hope that their choice to get married is based on growth, maturity, and the evolution of a rebuilt relationship.

The mutual friend sighted some evidence that things between Laura and Peter haven’t changed much, that the way that things are pretty much status quo from where I last left off. For Laura sake, I hope my friend is wrong. I hope that love is driving her to marriage and not the need to find validation in material wealth.

There is a moral to the story: We all have holes in our hearts. In Laura’s case, the loss of a parent created quite an emotional vacancy. She chose to fill it with purses and shoes. If you recall, I tried to fill the void with vodka (See “Vodka is not a Band Aid for a Broken Heart”). Sometimes now, I catch myself filling it with food and vodka. Here is the thing though, filling the hole with anything isn’t going to heal it. Time, patience and honesty mend the hole…filling it with stuff just prolongs the healing. Bad metaphor? Maybe. But, hopefully you get the point.

Welcome to Dark Side…

True love is complicated. I am sure you do not need my little blog here to tell you that. If you have ever been in a serious relationship, you understand where I am coming from. Up to this point, I have discussed how things like money, family, and monogamy influence a relationship. Mr. Right and I have had disagreements that span those topics. However, the focus of our most popular argument would most definitely be communication. Come now; let me give you a simple example:

It was a Wednesday somewhere in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Over the weekend, Mr. Right and I had made plans to have dinner with my parents. It was a casual affair where we intended to tell my parents about Ireland and discuss our upcoming wedding. Oh, do not roll your eyes…you know that sounds like great fun! That afternoon I phoned Mr. Right to coordinate our midweek restaurant rendezvous. Mr. Right seemed pensive and flustered. Whatever could be the problem? I coaxed the problem out him. You see, on Monday evening Mr. Right’s brother invited him to a social gathering scheduled for low and behold…Wednesday evening. Mr. Right accepted. He had knowingly committed himself to both events and was only currently realizing the pickle, which he created.

Now, let me just say. The dinner with my parents was far from formal. Had someone been ill, dinner could have been canceled without causing any major life disturbance. Also, as I mentioned the plans hadn’t been made that far in advance. Mr. Right had ample time to suggest an alternate night or time. If Mr. Right rescheduled the dinner on Monday night, I could have chosen to go to dinner with my parents solo or made different plans all together. All I ask is to be informed and nothing gets MB going like a last minute game changer.

Enter my problem. I like things my way. In reality, my way is the right way…so it is only common sense, you agree, right? This is one key reason that Mr. Right did not tell me that there was a change of plans prior to Wednesday. He wanted to avoid confrontation and the undeniable resulting lecture. In his mind, I would have been disappointed when he canceled the impending plans. I would probably launch into a speech about my precious time and the importance of respecting each other’s schedules. On top of that, in his mind, his brother would have felt similarly shafted. Brother would most likely classify Mr. Right as pu$$y whipped or some variation on that theme. It could be equally as unpleasant as my reaction! In Mr. Right’s eyes, it was a loose/loose situation. A “catch 22” if you will, leaving Mr. Right afraid to make a decision.

During our phone call, he began to reason that he could attend both gatherings. Did I mentioned they had the same start time and both involved eating dinner? I was insulted by the afterthought and cared not for his last minute placations. In fact, I had to get off the phone to start writing the lecture I would present him next time we were together. I would entitle it, “How not to Piss off your Fiancé, Lessons in Consideration.” Alas, Mr. Right had driven me off the edge. I was immersed in my own righteousness and dismissed him for the evening. I told him I hoped he enjoys his evening with his brother but in a snarky bitchy way that suggested I really felt otherwise. It was cleansing.

In true Mr. Right fashion, he showed up at the restaurant just as the bill arrived. He was there to apologize and swear up and down that this would not happen again. Of course, he had gone to his brother’s affair and fulfilled his familial commitment. I appreciated the apologetic gesture but reminded him that the last minute cancelation hence my annoyance could have been avoided. It was not that I needed him to be available. The point was, [insert prepared lecture points here], I wanted him to respect my time and give me the courtesy of planning. God, it was hard for me to drop the issue. I imagine it was even harder for Mr. Right to sit through my reiterations of what I perceived as his relationship failures that night.

Overall, the whole thing sounds silly, wouldn’t you say? Mr. Right promised too much to too many and instead of helping him work through his evening’s plan, I took the situation as a personal affront. Mr. Right screwed up and my reaction was to mount my high horse in order to dictate what was wrong with the situation. Mr. Right making two sets of plans was the wrong execution of the right idea. He was coming from a good place. Had I taken the time to consider the facts in their entirety I could have been party to a better resolution.

Do not fly off the handle, it is an easy mistake to make; we are an emotional people. It is hard to be objective when the outcome of the given situation personally affects you. Try to remember an argument may have a winner but your relationship will be the ultimate loser.

Preview…

Up and until this point I have been sharing all the positive good things about Mr. Right and the progression of our relationship. In the beginning, that really was the case…things between us were damn near perfect. Our honeymoon phase lasted a long while and we/are were very much in love. However, like most things in life, reality does set in and there are significant downturns in even the strongest relationships. So, for the sake of objectivity and honestly, I do plan to delve into the dark side…it only seems fair. After all, life is hardly a fairytale and I ain’t no Cinda-freakin-rella.

See you on the relationship flip side ~ MB

Ireland…the Grande Finale

Mr. Right and I headed back down to the first floor bar at Murphy’s. While we were dining upstairs, the local crowd had filtered in. There were middle aged and older men toasting their pints and drinking away the last few hours of the weekend. They overheard Mr. Right’s accent and asked us where we were from. Upon hearing that we were American, a large political debate ensued. It was funny to hear an outsider’s view regarding Obama’s upcoming Presidency. The old men found the results of our election shocking and progressive where Mr. Right and I thought them par for the course considering our options (cough Palin cough cough gag). The bartender, who we also found was the owner and proprietor, was thrilled to host international guests and as a result kept our glasses brimming with Jameson’s.

As night progressed and we were quickly becoming the hot commodity at the local pub. We posed for pictures and toasted to our new found friends in Arklow. As the night wound down, I assessed my impractical shoe situation. Of course, I decided to trek into town that night wearing stiletto heals. The walk to the pub was most painful; the walk home would be downright torture. I chastised myself for needing to look cute. I asked the bartender if Arklow had a cab company. He laughed and offered to give us a ride to the B&B himself! How could the owner of the bar up and leave with all these customers? Grabbing his coat the bartender yelled, “Now don’t cha be pouring your own pints while I’m gone!”

Outside, Mr. Right and I piled into the bartender’s silver Mercedes and took of for our B&B (http://www.pinebrook.net/). It was the nicest gestures I can remember. Can you imagine a bartender in Philadelphia, Boston or New York abandoning his bar to drive a few patrons home? Can you believe a bar owner leaving a crowd of men unattended with all that alcohol? Unheard of but truly memorable. Back at the B&B, we waved off our new friend, thanking him for his generosity a hundred times over. We were on a high after our night of fun and classically Irish experience.

Back inside, I took a shower and got ready for bed. When I came out of the bathroom, Mr. Right was propped on the bed wearing a scowl oh his face. I attempted to cuddle, a gesture that was immediately rebuffed. He wanted to take a shower himself and was not interested in my affection. Ok, now that was clearly not in my head. This time I could not be accused of over sensitivity. We just had, what I thought, was the most awesome night! Why now that we are alone, had the dynamic shifted? As Mr. Right closed the bathroom door and turned on the shower, I started to cry. I had come halfway around the world to be rejected by the man I loved. All the effort and planning that went into making this trip magical was in vein. It was devastating.

Mr. Right emerged from the shower almost a half hour later; this was unusually long for him. Had he been trying to avoid me? Was he hoping I would be asleep so he could escape potential affection? I had enough. I confronted Mr. Right as he dressed for bed. Why was he being so cold toward me? How come in a crowd we could enjoy our night but one on one he shunned my company? His inconsistent mood was putting me on the defensive and creating a black cloud over our trip. His face looked sad. He sat on the bed opposite of me and held both my hands, “I know. You are right. I have been acting distant and holding you at arm’s length since we arrived,” he said.

“Why?” I wanted to know. I braced myself for the worst.

“I have something I want to give you,” he started. With that, he reached into his suitcase and pulled out a box. Next thing I knew Mr. Right was down on one knee. “I was going to wait until our night in the castle to give this to you, but I see now if I don’t get this off my chest I could ruin this entire vacation. I thought a long time about something special to give you on this trip, something meaningful that would show you how much I love you. I thought long and hard about the perfect gift and you know what it is? It’s me. Will you marry me?”

Mr. Right opened a navy blue box that held a sparkly diamond ring. For once in my life, I was speechless, utterly shocked, overjoyed and totally speechless. I cried, Mr. Right cried and we hugged each other for a long while. Mr. Right broke the silence. “You never said yes.”

I laughed. “Yes,” I answered.

Mr. Right confessed that he had been so nervous about the ring and proposal that he had been driving himself crazy. He had intended to wait for a romantic evening planned on day seven of the trip but in the meantime, he was constantly rehearsing his speech in the shower and throughout the night. The stress of waiting was keeping him up at night and making me miserable. For the sake of the trip and my feelings, the engagement came sooner then intended. As they say, the best-laid plans (of mice and men?) often go awry. I’m sure you catch my drift…

The proposal may not have gone as Mr. Right planned. There was no champagne or chocolate cake. We were not on our way to a romantic dinner or in a luxurious Irish castle. It was only Mr. Right and I in a small B&B somewhere in the middle of an Irish village. With the climactic proposal out of the way, Mr. Right slept easy. I on the other had lay awake staring at the ring. I was getting married.