Sunday, July 30, 2006

Oh, fudge.

I have no concentration. No focus, no brain function -- I can barely put together a coherent sentence. He has reduced my mental capacity to unadulterated mush. I must be in love.

The Pirate came over for dinner friday (lasange, greek salad, homemade garlic bread, and strawberry shortcake if you must know). We talked, we laughed, we picked each other's brains.
Our minds fit together as beautifully as our bodies.

On saturday he had to go to a wedding. I was sorry I couldn't go with him. It was his best mate's. He was the best man. I want to meet his friends, and I wanted to see him dressed up (my god but he's handsome), and I know that he's great fun to dance with. But alas, it was not possible. Instead, I went to the fireworks display over the harbor, part of the Bristol Harbour Festival. Great fireworks. I stood in front of Lloyd's, face to the sky, laughing and gleeful at the sight of the twinkling explosions, dripping with Brizzle drizzle and my own tears, which flowed freely when they used Unchained Melody for the final number of the show. At that moment I missed him so much it hurt, and I'd only said goodbye to him that morning, and i knew i would see him again the following day.

But on saturday I had a revelation. Without revealing too many specifics (as the anonymity of the Pirate's identity is of paramount importance), i shall tell you briefly the situation that was on my mind: We are both very ambitious people. We both have strong careers ahead of us, and our chosen careers are important to our senses of self-worth and indeed our very identities. Sadly, our careers are also totally and utterly incompatible. There is no way for him to do what he does and for me to do what I do (or will do when I graduate) and for us to have a life together.

I've been asking myself if there is any point in investing myself heavily in a relationship that as far as i can tell must needs be a dead end.

Or if i would actually be willing to completely abandon my career as an academic for a man that i love.

Because lets face it, it would be me to sacrifice the career. Why is it always the woman!?!? But it would be. I do want to stay home for a few years to raise babies, so what would be the point of him quitting his job and then have me quit mine anyway for kids? But more importantly, he loves his job. I can see it in his face whenever he talks about it; he lights up like a christmas tree. I don't want him to quit. I don't want to take that from him. I would never ask a man to be less than he is for my sake. To do so would be to kill a small part of him, to deminish him in ways I can't imagine, to ruin him, if only a little bit. Like removing a pane of stained glass from a church window. No, I won't ask him to sacrifice his career.

But the same would be true of me. To give up my career I would be surrendering a small piece of myself forever. And part of that piece would be my self-respect. I would resent that i caved, that i did what i always (as the daughter of feminists) swore i would never do: give up my career for man.

But what's worse: to live without a job you love, or to live without the man you love?

Well that's obvious, isn't it?

And that's what I've been wondering: Is there any way that I can have him and keep myself, too?

That was the one thought that was preventing me from handing over my heart to him lock, stock, and barrel; the one thing that was holding me back, making me doubt the wisdom of the whole relationship.

And then on saturday I had a revelation. I saw a way out. My god, there just might be a way to pull this off. I can't tell you the details, because there would just be too many clues that might lead you back to the Pirate's identity, but I thought of a way that we can both keep our careers and build a life together. It's a long shot, and it might not work, but it's possible. More importantly, though, it's convinced me that there might be still other potential solutions that i havn't yet considered, that the situation isn't hopeless! And that's the key: now i know the situation isn't utterly irreconcilable. Nothing is impossible.

And now that i know that, the last barrier between my heart and his has crumbled to dust at my feet. Knowing that, I resolved yesterday afternoon that if (ahem, *when*) he should ask, I can answer without hesitation, doubt, or resentment.

So there I was at the fireworks, knowing for the fist time with absolute certainty my answer to The Great Unasked Question, missing him like hell. I've lost all patience.

Billy Crystal said it best in When Harry Met Sally: When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible.

Couldn't have put it any better.

He came over this morning. Got here about 10. He got on the lift and handed me a small parcel wrapped in a napkin. "I missed you last night," he said. "I brought you this." It was a piece of the wedding cake.

We came up to my room. He closed the door behind him. "Oh, and I've got something else for you."

He pulled a small box out of his pocket. It was about 2x2x2 inches, wrapped in white paper and tied with a pale blue ribbon. My heart stopped dead. This is it, I thought. I knew it. My eyes began to well up. I untied the ribbon, lifted the top of the box, fully expecting to find a small velvet box inside.

I peered in. It was a piece of fudge.

FUDGE I tell you.

"It was my favor from the wedding last night. There was one on every guest's plate. I know hoe much you love chocolate, so I saved it for you." He beamed at his own thoughtfullness.

For fuck's sake.


helena said...

Glad you found a way out of your dilemma. Nothing is impossible. Don't worry about the future - it has a habit of taking care of itself. Besides which, worrying about the future is pointless - it spoils the present and now is all we ever really have.

The fudge thing is more complicated. I suggest some intensive training. Maybe in Thorntons? On the other hand, he was thinking of you.

ZB said...

Hun, the chances of him popping the question after a week/ten days are small. I'm a guy. I've never popped the question to anyone. Now, I know that I'm a special case but even if he's at the extremely impulsive end of the scale of which I'm at the other end of, it's still unlikely. So, stop treating the fudge as a let down. He thought that he was doing something sweet and thoughtful. He probably doesn't know that right now you want to start spitting out his kids asap. He's a guy and for a guy, he thought he was doing something sweet.

As for giving up your career - what sort of shite is that? For fucks sake, I thought better of you than that. I certainly had you down as better stuff than that. Unless I've missed something in despatches, he's some kind of naval sea going dude - in which case, he's going to be at sea for months at a time. This gives you plenty of time to do academic shite and then, when his ship comes in, you can jump on his bones then. It'll give you something to do in between marking papers. Becoming an academic is incredibly difficult. The percentage of PhD students who actually get jobs in academic institutions after their PhD is less than 5 percent. Partly this is because old academics are on a final salary percentage pension and therefore hang on as long as possible to their jobs. Why shouldn't they? It's better than working in the real world. Which is why you shouldn't even contemplate giving it up for a guy. If it's meant to be, you'll find a way to make it work. If it's not, you won't. The line from When Harry met Sally... is a great line but it's just a line. Even though it should and sometimes dos, real life doesn't work like the movies. You might have to work for your happy ending. Go to it. And I wish both of you luck but being with someone should never be at the expense of giving up something essential of yourself. This much, believe me, I know.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

yes, i know, exactly, gah, preaching to the choir.

yes, he was thinking of me and being very thoughtful and sweet, which i recognized and thanked him for. he had no idea what had been going thru my mind for the last 24 hrs!

And of course it's crazy unlikely he would pop the question after we'd been togehter 2 weeks. i never expected him to. but expectations and imagination are different things, mis amigos!

and zb, you're right about me. i am made of better stuff than to give up my career for a man, HENCE THE WHOLE POINT OF THE DILEMMA. no, life is not a movie, it was just a succinct phrase that encapsulates my feelings rather tidily.

i don't believe in "meant to be." meant by whom? it implies a conscious plan, which i do not recognize. but i do belive (now) that if you want it to work, than it's possible. where there's a will and all that, what what.

"now is ever all we have." too right. spot on.

hendrix said...

oh. I didn't realise you thought it was going to be a ring. I thought you were just disappointed that it was fudge and not chocolate!

Spinsterella said...

My male flatmate got his ex girlfriend a belly-button ring after they'd been dating about 6 months. Of course it came in a small jewellery box....her face lit up, then devastation.


1 - I am struggling to think what sort of job would be incompatible with academia.

2 - oh god, I really don't want to say this, but alarm bells are ringing... I have had that 'oh my god we are so awesome together both body and mind' hasn't ever worked out....

(But don't listen to me, i'm bitter and twisted. Enjoy yourself.)

First Nations said...

love does find a way!
it happens!
i am exactly the same way; i think ahead to the future because i know what i want and if someone fits the criteria, well, there you go. nothing wrong with that. that's exactly the way you should be thinking. there is a pragmatic side to things; right? it isn't all birdies and flowers.
you have fun! revel in this!
(he sounds fantaaaaaaaaastic!)

GreatSheElephant said...

this is reminding me of how I felt about sex tortoise (and how he behaved with me right at the beginning). Be cautious and don't start telling him anyone of this stuff yet fer pete's sake or you'll terrify him.1`

Billy said...

I would be very pleased to get some fudge.

GreatSheElephant said...

me too.

The 1' by the way was Rosa's contribution to the discussion. I'm not sure what she meant by it but it still beats the time she sent an email to a US client of mine that read '666'

ZB said...

Just a man, with a mans courage...
nothing but a man, who can never fail...
No one who can anything but oh oh oh h flash, oh flash...

Gordon's alive..alive...alive...

Flash, I love you but we only have 24 hours to save the earth...

I'm not sure where I'm going with this but I woke up with the bloody tune in my head this morning.

helena said...

You Sod! So do I now.

belladona said...

Hmm, I'd resign yourself to many more times of that particular disappointment. It's just the way the universe mocks you when you don't need reminding.
I'm sure you already know this - but never, never Ever think about compromising your own happiness because of a man. Any man. Ever.

ZB said...

Compromising your own happiness for a hot chick is okay though...

Chaucer's Bitch said...

A hot chick who loved you would never ask that sacrifice.

helena said...

She wouldn't? Bugger. I knew I'd been doing something wrong.