I was riding my bike with the old dudes yesterday, and although I usually try to stay focused on not running over pedestrians or falling over, and so save the conversations for the coffee hour, this time one of them managed to get more than a few sentences out of me while we weaved in and out of traffic on the boardwalk. We got into a conversation about how kids’ lives can be pretty stressful, and I told him how I believe at each stage in our lives, we have problems that are very real to us – and then later, we look back and think how easy life was at that stage, compared to the current stage. And so on.
“Well, that’s interesting,” he said. “And I think you’re right. I remember thinking how hard my life was when I was young – even in my 30s, when I was dealing with all those questions about where I was going to live, and whether I was going to be able to afford to start a family – the things you mentioned now.”
“But you know,” he added after a moment’s reflection. “Being in a relationship is a pretty great thing, too.”
A friend of mine has spent the past few months talking to a guy she went to high school with, a guy who’s now in the Marines and stationed in North Carolina. At first, they were just reconnecting and tentatively flirting, but the conversations soon escalated to, “I wish I was in California so I could be with you,” and, “I’m not seeing anyone else and have no interest in doing so.” Then last month, she flew out to NC to visit him for a week, and although she had her reservations at first, she left with the impression that they were really going to try to make this long-distance thing work until he got back.
Then a few days ago, she found out that this guy had also been talking to someone else (also long-distance). And that suddenly, he and this other girl were in a relationship. Officially. And my friend was, consequently, out of the picture.
Needless to say, she’s devastated. Brokenhearted, yes, but perhaps even worse, she feels stupid for having trusted this guy, for having fallen for this guy against her better judgment. I remember those days; I remember those men. It fucking sucks.
So with that in mind, I’m going to put aside the question from yesterday, and I’m going to put aside all the things Doug does that drive me crazy, and I’m just going to consider myself lucky for a moment.
Because I am lucky, to have someone to come home to, to watch reality TV with, to share meals and ice-cream-straight-out-of-the-carton with. I’m lucky that he cooks and cleans and checks the house for spiders every night. I’m lucky that he buys me flowers when I’m sad, juice when I’m sick, and dinner when he can afford to. I’m lucky that he thinks even my most comfortable, cotton bras and panties are sexy.
And I’m lucky to have someone who loves me; I’m lucky to have someone to give my love to; I’m lucky that I can trust him; I’m lucky that he trusts me.
I complain a lot about this life. I tend to focus on what’s not in it. But for what it’s worth, for when I forget, for the record: some parts of this life are pretty frickin’ great.