Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting Hurt On Purpose

It was interesting to me. The other day I was walking home and walked right past the "indie guy." I decided to pretend I didn't know him... And it was lovely because I just stopped caring and let go of it. And so it goes. Then, on my last day at work before Christmas two funny things happened. I fell on my tailbone because I slipped on a slippery floor and began to take notice of another guy who comes into the coffee shop. Yes, yet another one. He is warm, witty and friendly to everyone in the shop. In reality he much better looking than "indie guy"... He has amazing blue eyes. But what is really in his favor is a good dose of humility. I like that. A lot.

He also knows how to tease me and make me laugh. And sometimes I need to be teased. Actually a while back he came into the store, when I was in the throes of my passion for "indie guy," and flashed me a devilishly flirtatious little grin. For some stupid reason I thought that was a bit forward, especially since he was wearing a ring, which at the time I forgot to note was on his right hand. So I was rather cold to him. And, at the time I didn't care that he seemed a little hurt by my coldness. I thought it was for the best... But after that he began to explain to my co-worker that he dressed so shabby that day because he had to wear a costume for a holiday party at his work... The next day we got into a heated discussion about his coffee and I had to fight to keep calm. The day after that he came in and started off our conversation by making a self-deprecating joke about the day before. That was the last time I saw him... All those details to say, of course, that the man has a sense of humor. And, the more I think about it, perhaps he might be just as ridiculously insecure as me... How divine. (And the sad thing is I'm not being sarcastic.)

Although for about a day and a half, after I went home for Christmas, I had a bit of a meltdown. In the midst of getting ex rays for my aching back and preparing for Christmas I realized that I might be falling for this new friendly guy, and the faint hope that he might even ask me out began to creep up on me. I started to panic. I even told my mother about him yesterday and she, with what I am sure were warm and marvelous intentions, said, "Can't you just stop falling for guys that come into the shop?! Just treat them like customers." I asked myself, "what does that really mean?" But then another perspective came to mind.

Ben is a husband of my oldest best friend, and a very observant person in general. This weekend we were all sitting around chatting before we watched a movie and he decided to dispense a bit of insight when my friend and I started talking about "indie guy" and this new crush of mine. He said, "My advice to you is to go out and get hurt. Get hurt." And I think he's right. I need to let myself get hurt, which sounds so contrary to my natural instincts. I analyze and theorize and try to protect myself. Matter of fact I become so fearful about all the possible negative outcomes that these dark thoughts and worries even creep into my dreams.

Yet, after reading Jung today and pondering Ben's advice I had what Oprah would call an "aha moment." My parents are in the middle of a long and depressing divorce. So it naturally follows that I don't want to repeat the mistakes either of them made with each other... mistakes that were made the minute they met. And of course my own blind hopefulness and subsequent disappointment in past experiences doesn't help either.

When my father met my mom he wasn't taken with anything about her. Her obvious beauty, and her warm heart were merely useful. He wasn't really smitten. Instead, he just decided that she fit conveniently into his plans and he made a calculated decision to pursue her. My mother was on her way to Africa and didn't want to be bothered with men. But my father didn't let that stop him, bless him... and they got married and it was a nightmare for both of them. My mother was confused and my father was deeply unhappy. I think they both have a lot of regrets. Although, even so, my father told me that if I decided to only marry for love that I might never get married. There are other reasons for marriage, he claimed. And while none of my words are meant to judge my father, I wish he hadn't taken his own advice.

Dear Ben... Indeed, just like any other form of falling, when you are relaxed you get hurt less, ironically, than when you stiffen up. And I can't say I've ever truly let myself get hurt in any romantic relationship. All my romances have always happened under a personal watch of suspicion and fear. I was the girl in school who walked up to boys asked them if they liked me, let them get embarrassed, reject me and as I then proceeded to walk away feeling relieved... because I didn't have to worry about it anymore. All the while, I would believe that no guy would ever truly find me attractive or really appreciate or understand me so it was better to end things before they even started.

In any case, I am serious by nature and I wonder how practical all this mumbo jumbo of mine really is... :) But I suppose it's worth a try.

No comments: