This Is Not a Love Story

by Jane Moneypenny

He’s finally engaged.

I have a variety of emotions thrown at me when I find out. Part of the chaos is from just getting off the phone with Pen (see previous entry; more on this later). Part of me is stunned. I knew it would happen sometime and soon, but it still stung a tiny bit. We had plans to get dinner and catch up when I was in St. Louis, but he chickened out via text message (although it was his idea). I called him on it and we never spoke again.

He is, for me, what I am to Pen. That #2 in your life that liberates you of what you thought was the norm and showing the way things could be. He was the one that showed me all the physical stuff didn’t have to be used as a tool for manipulation or lies or control. It could be fun and something I could own for myself.

The tiny tick that hurts is that I was never good enough for him to commit, but like Mel told me, “Sometimes I think we’re all girl scouts and instead of ‘leaving our campsites cleaner than when we found them,’ we leave our men better than when we found them. We help them understand women better and, in some cases, understand themselves. And what thanks do we get? They find great relationships after they’re done with us.”

The truth is, as much as he hurt me, he also contributed to making me who I am now. Despite the last year being rough, I AM pretty proud of how far I’ve come. And as one man walks permanently out of my life, another steps in.

As hard as I’ve tried to follow the 2-day rule, I’ve found that my mind still wanders to another man, Pen (see previous entry). He actually calls. So I may have told him straight up he better keep in touch, even if it as only friends or I wouldn’t let him kiss me. It’s a first and I’m unsure how to handle a guy who treats me the way he does. But it’s ridiculous, isn’t it? This is the way it’s supposed to be. I shouldn’t be so in awe of these actions. But the more I thought about it, the more I was sure I wasn’t being swept up by all the niceness. There’s been plenty of nice guys that I wasn’t attracted to and I promised to never settle even when I was lonely.

So what does this mean? I have an opportunity to go visit NYC for Labor Day due to a possible free mileage ticket. I have possibly one day off I can squeeze out of work. I have 50+ friends I need to see there, but I think I would be very happy staying in with him all weekend. That terrifies me. This entire situation freaks me out. I lose my cool when I’m around him, chatting nervously like a little bird to fill up the silences that I’m not used to yet. When he says nothing and just looks at me, I get butterflies and have to blink away because his gaze is so penetrating.

He frustrates me often with his stupid simple man logic (“Wait, why are you complaining about the lack of women boots? You just said there were so many options when you walked in!”) and he likes the wrong sports teams. He goes to bed at midnight and gets up at 7am daily while I find my best energy late at night. Yet, I still want to keep him around to see where it’s going.

Going to NY signifies so much more than just a fun jaunt to the city. After New Orleans, St. Louis and Austin, it’s another home although I never lived there. Going there when I could be going somewhere new (and with Africa soon after) is a giant step. On paper, it’s a horrible idea. Why get attached? Whey get more involved when this is clearly going nowhere with the distance? Like Kilimanjaro, there’s 1000 reasons not to do it and only a handful of good ones. But oh, are those handful really good ones! I promised I would stay open to the possibilities, but not pursue actively. Getting on that plane is breaking all the rules.

Logic or heart? Which?!

Summer: Ok. I, like being on my own. I think relationships are messy and people’s feelings get hurt. Who needs it? We’re young, we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world; might as well have fun while we can and, save the serious stuff for later.

McKenzie: You’re a dude. [to Tom] She’s a dude!

Tom: Ok but wait–wait. What happens, if you fall in love?

Tom: What?

Summer: You don’t believe that, do you?

Tom: It’s love, it’s not Santa Claus.