When your life is a Carpenters’ song…you know, let’s just say that there are worse things. Because while the title-slash-theme to this blog entry may seem a little on the morose or even – since it’s me, here – maudlin side, you’ve got to remember that if the Carpenters are going to suddenly be revealed to be the folks responsible for scoring my life, I can also count on being On Top Of The World at some point. And who’s to say that isn’t now?
So, there is all that.
But lest you think that this is a post about giving up, rest assured it’s not. Over the last year, I’ve watched people start dating, stop dating, get married, get divorced and face all variety of conflict and joy in between. Personally, I have had opportunities to participate in dating and romance and have – I think rather objectively – chosen to pass.
I (don’t) Need To Be In Love.
I see people my age dating after divorce following a long term marriage and absolutely loving the experience. I know. Dating is a euphoric rush. I get a little contact high from following their sexploits.
I think that contact high is enough for me right now.
Goodbye doesn’t have to be forever.
It’s not a statement that comes out of bitterness, I’m just focusing elsewhere. I know that I had my chance and now it’s time to face my relationship status with the same grace as Hilary faced the tragic 2016 election results.
I had a wonderful relationship experience with Rib a few years back – even though sometimes it feels like it was Only Yesterday – and if that ends up being my final relationship, it’s not a bad note to exit dating on. I think our time together helped make him the man he was when he met his current boyfriend, and for that, I feel a little pride. For me, exiting that relationship in the manner that I did, with my eyes wide open, prepared me for the acceptability of being alone. Even if it’s for the long run and I don’t date again. And, like Hilary – who may never run for public office again after this past election cycle – went to the Traffic Cone’s inauguration, I would certainly be comfortable going to Rib’s wedding if the invitation ever arose.
So, there’s all that, too.
One of my recently single friends – Diezel – sent me this meme in a text the other day.
I laughed out loud and told him so.
Of course, this was after a few minutes of thought about where the motivation for this text came from, he could have been standing on a building rooftop for all I knew. He was pretty blindsided by his boyfriend’s sudden exodus. While Diezel was thinking We’ve Only Just Begun, The Marine was considering that it was time to end (T)his Masquerade.
And he was kind of – totally not “kind of” but rather, completely – an ass about it, making what should have been a Christmas Song for the couple’s first Christmas together his swan song in the relationship and breaking up with Diezel over the holiday.
Like I said, The Marine was a complete ass in this matter.
So, when contemplating whether to share with Diezel that I had guffawed at his meme while at work – in the middle of a busy airport concourse like a completely crazy person – I also had to consider where he was emotionally. I know the whole emotional overcorrection that is swearing to never date again. But I trust Diezel’s emotional depth enough to differentiate between pushing tough feelings down and covering them up with a cast made of sweatpants and pony tails as you make a show of strength out of basically giving up on love versus taking the time one deserves to heal and get back to a place where he is a whole individual again and also not overcorrecting by jumping into a new relationship just to put a temporary salve on the emotional pain of a recent heartbreak.
My response to him ultimately, was what I try to always be with my friends – especially one that I consider family, like Diezel – respectful and honest and completely Xtopher.
“I know that’s your depression talking, but that’s still friggin’ hilarious. I lolled.”
Because, when should one pass up an opportunity to paraphrase Under The Tuscan Sun?
Never is the correct answer, especially when the discussion is centered on relationship pain, as this one certainly was. But that we could somehow shift gears from appropriate gloom to boy bands…well, like Diezel said in the subsequent texts, “It’s why we are friends.”
True fucking story, Diezel.
While It’s Going To Take Some Time for Diezel to return to his fully functional single self, I saw last night at our MNSC dinner that he was definitely well on his way. And, no – since I’m busy trying to cram as many Carpenters song titles into this blog post – our meal last night was not Jambalaya.
For me, it’s my birthday. I know…maudlin and morose timing, but that’s all it is, timing. As I begin the final year of my fifth decade, I have a lot of other things in my life to focus on this year. Things that actually define me as an individual, not things that validate my self worth. That’s where I want to put my energy because it’s never going to be Yesterday Once More. Those days past are behind me, and while there are always happy memories to reflect back upon, I’m not – and forgive the Bruce Springsteen intrusion here – ready to invest my future happiness in my Glory Days. I’m forward focused and embracing the future because…
I’ve Only Just Begun, suckers, so watch out.