Help! The deadline is close. Please help Brent reach his goal for the AIDS walk!! Click this. I’m just going to keep nagging you about it. Ok. Think of it like this. I’ve gotten plenty of emails and “offers” to do things for me as a thank you of sorts for the entertainment I provide. I’ve never been able to justify asking for anything back from you kids. But, just this once, pretty please, click the link and give to the AIDS walk. Pretty please with cherries on top and I’ll be your best friend.
So I saw my therapist this week. If you recall, but you may not so I’ll repeat myself, I started seeing her about 2 1/2 years ago when my anxiety issues started um, ruining my life. I refused to get on an airplane post-September 11th and it caused a lot of problems. I had resolved to just drive everywhere, but then, yanno, when my brother decided to get married, it was too far to drive. Then my friend wanted to go to Italy and I realized I would miss Europe entirely unless I could get 6 weeks off to ride the Mayflower over there. And then work wanted me to go somewhere – bastards! You have blown my cocoon apart. It was time to put this fear on the back burner. Anyway, during my time with the therapist, I learned that fear of flying is really fear of losing control – something I hate. I had to confront so many other stupid little things I do to maintain control and(subconsciously) avoid panic attacks.
All right, enough of that. So I spent my entire 50 minute hour talking about him. The new boy. When she asked me what it was that I liked about him, I couldn’t really put it into words. Is that stupid? I mean, for those of you who are in a relationship where you are completely immersed in your feelings for this person, can you actually give a list of the things you like about him/her? Are people really capable of that?
For me, attraction and that feeling of belonging with someone isn’t based on a set of characteristics or a laundry list of things you want. (This is a fabulous argument for why online dating is fatally flawed.) It’s harder to put my finger on than checking off a list. It’s how the person makes me feel. But, sometimes what is more important than how they make you feel is how they DON’T make me feel. As an example, I described my years with AtlantaBoy to the therapist as this:
“We were like two kids living together without adult supervision. We were like two puzzle pieces that just fit together into a working relationship and household. Even though there was no ‘adult supervision,’ we made it work.” She asked me to describe this more. It’s hard to without coming up with a solid example. I told her that one morning my car tire was flat. AtlantaBoy left for work before I was awake, but he had seen the flat, and came back in and left me a very descriptive note that somewhere I believe I still have. It detailed that I needed to get a “plug” and to not let them talk me into a whole new tire, and had directions to the nearest tire place. The note was really long, but it was a step by step of what I had to do. He just knew that I would have no clue how to do any of the assessing of the flat, as well as finding the place to get it done. He even told me about how much it would cost, so I wouldn’t get hosed. And he never made me feel stupid for his having to write that note to his automotivally and mechanically inept girlfriend.
That’s the kind of stuff great relationships are made of – where two people just know how to treat and how not to treat each other. AtlantaBoy knew he needed to spoonfeed that to me just like I knew when it came time to pay our monthly bills, I had to tell him what to write checks for. He just knew that I had it worked out to a 50/50 split and didn’t question it. Of course that relationship efficiency dissipated over time, but that’s another story.
All of that dynamic between us was basically unspoken. And what I have going on currently is more of the same. Well, don’t get me wrong, it’s an entirely different relationship. I feel much more like an “adult” now than I did when I lived with AtlantaBoy, the dynamic is there though. Take for instance the fact that I have no knowledge how to work your new, fancy, thousand-button remote controls of today. He knows that. When something happens that requires remote control assistance, I’ll just hand it to him. He’s tried to show me what the important buttons are, but you know what? I don’t care. I’m more than happy to let him do it, even screaming from the couch when he’s in another room that I need him to change the channel. He doesn’t bitch about this, he just knows that I have no clue which button lowers the volume, which button cooks breakfast and which button fires up electricity under Bin Ladin’s bunker.
So as I’m getting ready to leave, my therapist says, “I think you may have met your match.” It means a lot to hear that from a woman who just might know me better than I know myself.