Forays Into Fondness

Well hello blog. How have you been?

It’s time for one of those introspective things. The reason is that a lot of things are changing / are about to change / just changed.

I graduated college, for starters. Sort of a surreal experience considering it only took three years and, with the exception of my horribly unorganized Japanese class, there weren’t too many sleepless nights. A lot of that can be chalked up to my major (Creative Writing), which, as I’m finding out now, doesn’t lend itself to a lot of immediate job opportunities.

So, college done. What’s next? It’s the question that has plagued me for the past few months, leading me to apply to 31 internships (of which I heard back from maybe four) and post all kinds of nonsense in all kinds of internet forums. The plan stands as this: move to Portland with a friend, find jobs, sit around and write. Then maybe a year or two years down the road, someone will hire me to write a movie or a show.

Which is a great dream if only so many other people didn’t have the exact same one. So inevitably every now and then I think about it and the fabulous prospects fall away and are replaced by a searing pessimism. There’s nothing to be done about it, however, but to keep on keeping on and make things happen.

I’m afraid I’m beating around the bush. All of this is great and weird and whatever, but the really strange change occurred just some two days ago. After 1097 days of dating, my girlfriend and I broke up. It wasn’t quite as brutal as past relationships because I had seen the end rearing its ugly head; I just chose to ignore it for some time. The reason it’s so much weirder is that it’s compounded with all of these other transitionary and new things.

Before I can get much into this break-up, I feel I have to expound on the past ones.

So, the first one. I was late to the dating game – or maybe it was just the group of friends I kept at the time – but the first one didn’t come until 8th grade. We soon realized kissing was cool, and that holding hands wasn’t all that scary, and before I knew it we were a year and a half from the beginning and she was ending it via an awkward phone call. She was artsy and incredibly unsure of herself and it seemed that a large portion of our time together was me trying to get her to see how great she was. Nowadays I’m still not sure she’s realized, but that’s not my place anymore.

Highlight of relationship #1: Sending her a pass to join Gmail when it was new and replacing “come join Gmail and have a superior email experience” in the stock invitation to “come join Gmail and touch my penis.” Her mother then saw it and all kinds of awkward ensued.

Following the destruction of the first relationship, I floundered around and gave her mean faces, though they were worthless and we both knew it. It was a few months before I was certain that her new friend was an interesting person and actually went through girlfriend #1 to contact girlfriend #2. We talked and then ended up dating right after she dated the singer of my band. Weird band drama ensued. Girlfriend #2 was frightfully sure of herself, seemingly couldn’t sit still for a moment, had an outrageously loony family, and further opened my eyes to art. Here came a more profound love for books and movies. We worked well together, though in the end she packed on too many activities for my occasionally stressful presence to be tolerated any longer. It lasted for a year and a half the first time, then after a short hiatus came another four or so months.

Highlight of relationship #2: my mother coming to her house to pick me up one day. Her sister was walking around in her underwear trying to put out a fire she started in her room, grandma answered the door and was baffled when my mom asked if I was there, and their dog with a bulging eye kept trying to get outside.

There was another girl in the mix but at this point I’ve decided that whole ordeal was the last remnants of high school begging to get out of my system. Date a girl that will never turn into anything long-term, dwell on it for too long, break up with her only to be told by her friend that she thought you did it because she “wouldn’t put out” (as if anything had reached that level), then rapidly get over it. High school!

Next up was the doozy. Soccer captain, had liked me for awhile, but had dated some less-than-interesting guys and thus left me uninterested. Until, that is, a group of friends came over and watched Battlefield Earth. While enjoying that wholesome American masterpiece, I realized soccer girl was over her own high school madness and was looking hotter than ever. A few days later she was back to watch 28 Weeks Later, and then the parents were suddenly out to dinner and we were alone. Lips were locked, then we rolled down hills by a Potbelly. We were together when we graduated high school, and then still together when I graduated college last month. The serious strain developed from her 4-month visit to Japan, in which a newfound independence demanded it be enjoyed back in the States and my place in all of it came into question.

1097 days. A mildly OCD voice in my mind whispers that if only we’d made it another three days and hit that nice even 1100, that things would have worked out. I knew her mind was made up for quite some time, unfortunately, but the 1097 days were so splendid in a way that I never would have guessed when she came over for Battlefield Earth that I’m not even sure I can pinpoint a highlight. Maybe it was unexpectedly talking with author Tim Powers on the floor of a fantasy convention hotel lobby, or maybe it was staying a weekend in Austin for ACL.

As I said, that was two days ago that things ended. As such, the phases after the breakup have taken over. There’s the familiar remorse, the disbelief, then the wondering if it’s really as final as she made it. Could it be? Perhaps it’s all due to a kink we need to work out separately before coming back together and producing beautiful harmonies once more.

In I Love You, Man, Paul Rudd’s character is described as a girlfriend guy. He has no guy friends to invite to his wedding because he’s always hit it off better with girls. The first time I saw that movie it kind of scared me, because that’s me, in a way. I date girls for long periods of time and generally try to include them in everything (even if it means dressing up and going to a Ren Faire). I’ve never been able to understand the kind of people that marry three or four times throughout their lives, the ones that can treat their spouse more as a house fixture than as a companion. It’s not quite the dependence that I desire but the feeling that no matter what, one person outside of the family will always be there.

Which makes it weird when they’re not there. I can think of many things I should have done differently, and thinking back on the relationship I tend only to remember the many good parts and not the bad parts that ultimately proved too much for her. According to plan I move to Portland in August and she ships off for Japan next Spring, which means we could be apart for as long as two years. This was all thought about, of course, and factored in more than I would have liked in the final sentencing. Still, the idea that it’s a temporary break and not a permanent split is so insistent that I feel I’m doing myself a disservice to believe it.

After relationship #2 crumbled, I began to hear the gospel of Woody Allen. I watched Annie Hall for the first time and adored it. Guy falls in love, relationship falls apart, guy goes nuts but then learns to live through it. It was something about the completely rational acceptance of the irrational world of dating and rejection that makes it so human that it’s hard to ignore. We date because we don’t like to think of ourselves as being alone, but chances are that the relationship you enter will ultimately fail.

I resisted the urge to quote the last line from The Great Gatsby just now. I hope you’re happy.

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~ by Jon C. Forisha on June 12, 2011.

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