A week or so after our talks, I realize I’ve had a massive perception switch. It occurred to me that the moment I went from thinking of me and TLA as potentially building to just kicking it, I’d pretty much lost interest in putting forth any effort, much less additional effort. Without thinking about it, I don’t bother waking up to talk to him when he gets off work on weekends in the middle of the night. And I don’t wait up late to speak to him most nights either. When I’m entirely free, I call and I answer when he does. Admittedly, we still have some good conversations.
Overall, things are… alright. But I still know that we’re not on the same page. He doesn’t want a technical relationship. I do. And what am I supposed to do about that? Prove to him I’m a worthy girlfriend candidate by continuing to go above and beyond the way I was when I thought we were building something? Eh… What’s the point? If he doesn’t see me as “wifey” potential, I don’t expect that suddenly one day he will. As Tariq is fond of quoting, “it don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine.” (Cue Common.)
I vow to be still until I can figure out what I want to-wait this out or bail? But perhaps the inevitable end is near. If so, my ever-perceptive mother will go down as the first person to call it.
I was planning to go to DC to visit TLA one night, and then I checked my email that morning and realized that my cousin was having a birthday party in Atlanta the following day. I bought a plane ticket south… without mentioning it to TLA first. Would he care? I dunno. I wasn’t sure if I cared if he would. I figured if he made noise about it, I could always politely remind him, “uh, I’m not your girlfriend.”
Out of respect, I called my Mother and told her I would be out of town for the weekend. (I’m an only child. My parents still worry.)
“I thought you were coming home to see TLA?” she asked.
“What am I supposed to do, Mom? Miss my cousin’s birthday for him?” (Full disclosure: Cuzzie and I are not that close.)
“Wow,” Mom said. “He’s as good as gone.”
I head to Atlanta for the weekend and hang out with the Southern version of Ace and an old (male) friend from college who I’d had a crush on for years. He and I sit at the bar catching up for hours during my cousin’s party. It’s been years since I’ve seen him. He still looks the same (ie, fine) and the chemistry between us is still there. I unrealistically toy around with the idea of doing him, just because I never did and I always wanted to.
Immediately, after this thought, the vast switch in my POV jumps out at me again. I wouldn’t have even thought this two weeks earlier. I was so caught up in TLA that I’d stopped going out because I didn’t want to be surrounded by the temptation of so many men. And when I did hang out, I was so busy thinking about TLA that I barely scanned the room (and usually left early to call him before he went to bed.) What a difference 14 days can make. (FTR: I didn’t do the old friend. Vacation jump-humps are not my style.)
The next night, I hang out with my cousin and her friends at a bowling alley. I don’t bowl so I spend most of my time soaking up the Atlanta atmosphere (ie, man-watching). I realize this is a pastime I missed enjoying. It’s not so much fun to see a cutie pass by and know there’s nothing you can do about it because you’ve got obligations elsewhere. I know TLA and I are supposed to be “exclusive,” but I don’t know what that means anymore. Like, I’m on lockdown without a title? This whole arrangement seems like some bullshit. I keep looking…and flirting.
Somewhere between the second glass of wine and the third (I’m on vacation, dammit), I start to see this whole no-title thing for the blessing it is. My life wasn’t so bad partying all the time, and entertaining male attention for the fun of it. Sure it will get old someday, but it hasn’t quite yet. I like playing with the idea of whoever I meet and then like could be a new suitor, even if it’s all in my head. And when I’m not seeing someone, I don’t have to endure any long conversations about feelings and “where is this going?” and get answers I don’t want to hear. I don’t know if this emerging train of thought is a coping mechanism for rejection or real epiphany, but sitting there watching the men go by, I realize that I like being free… maybe even more than I like being in a “situation.”
There’s no accountability, no obligations to anyone but myself. And the world seems full of possibilities. So why do I want to be a relationship again?
Maybe the grass over there isn’t so green, after all.
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