Friday, September 28, 2007

A Real Love Story

I've always been a sucker for romantic comedies. Anything that had Meg Ryan in it, well, that was a movie for me. I love movies that make me laugh and then make me all tingly as the lead characters go in for that first kiss. And then the screen fades to black, the words 'the end' appears on the screen and you know they'll spend the rest of eternity making snide comments at each other, making jokes about their in laws to their friends and he'll complain about how little they're doing it now that they're together while she'll pretend to be asleep.

But for two hours, life is perfect. And love is this wondrous thing that overcomes your every cell.

Then you leave the theater and as you try to squint the bright sun away, you're reminded that the real world? It's populated with real men. Men who have hair growing in strange places and forget to tell you that your ass looks good in your new pants.

The other day, in my 100 list, I mentioned how Sweetie Pie and I met. And really, I gave you the best parts of the story.

Then I dropped the bomb shell that I moved here without him ever uttering the three words that any woman who decides to pack up her life and move for a man should have heard: I love you.

How is it that I, a woman raised by a feminist, someone who doesn't believe in changing her life for a man would then turn around and leave a life that she loved, by the way, with a kick-ass apartment and a rocking social life and a city filled with tons of little independent restaurants and rocking pubs and clubs, for a man?

I'm not sure. I still don't know the question to that one.

All I know, is that things with Sweetie Pie moved pretty quick. I met him in January 99. We went on our first date, skiing in Colorado (doesn't that sound so Paris Hilton of me?), in March.

In May of 2000, I applied for a bunch of jobs in Dallas. I don't even remember us having a conversation about it, exactly, but we must have at least alluded to it, because I'm not the psycho girl type who'd do something like that out of the blue.

At the time, I anticipated that it would take a year for me to find a job. That was the timeline I figured I was working with.

Except that the job market in Dallas was on fire thanks to that frat party known as the dot com age. And apparently, vacancies in PR jobs were getting hard to fill, to the point that anyone with a pulse and an idea of what the letters "P" and "R" looked like could get a job.

So I come along with my little resume written in Canadian, with words like "neighbour" and the correct pronounciation of "organization" (organ-AI (like the letter "I")-zation) and next thing I know, I'm being flown to Dallas in early August and I'm offered a job.

Three weeks later, I'm on a plane to Dallas with my two cats and I'm thinking "what the hell happened?"

But let me back up here for a second. Back to the interview. When I came down for it, and they told me "we want to hire you, when can you start?", one of my first thoughts? Was "did Sweetie Pie and actually really discuss this?"

And so after the interview, when he came to pick me up, I had the courage to say "hey, you, hot guy I like to sleep with!" (oh, wait, we weren't married at the time... I meant to say hot guy I like to play chess with and have thumb wars with, of course). Where was I... Oh yeah, I said to him "do you even want me moving here? Because I'm about to leave my life here."

Although, I wasn't that gutsy then, so I probably just mumbled something about if he wasn't sure, I totally understood.

And he told me he wanted me here, so I went home and packed.

But while I packed, I told myself the entire time, that I was going to confront him about the fact that I didn't even know how he felt about me.

Each phone call, the thought would cross my mind. But then I'd chicken out. I'd hang up and think to myself "I need to tell him I won't move unless I know how he feels about me."

And then I'd wimp out again.

And so September 10, 2000, I moved to Dallas for a guy who I wasn't even sure was in love with me.

At my job in Dallas, as Christmas neared, all of the girls in my office got excited. Because they just knew in their gut that Sweetie Pie was going to propose. After all, I'd moved all the way to Dallas for him.

I didn't say much, but I knew that he wouldn't. After all, this was a man who hadn't even said 'I love you', so he sure as hell wasn't going to propose! And I was right. He wouldn't propose for another two years.

Interestingly enough, I don't remember now the first time he did say 'I love you.' You'd think that with the amount of obsessing I did, that the date, time, what he was wearing, what I was wearing, the headline of the Dallas Morning News, the cover of People Magazine that week, that all of it would be imprinted in my brain, a memory to forever be treasured.

But I'm not that good with detail.

What I do remember though, is being on our honeymoon five years after I moved down and telling Sweetie Pie jokingly how I still couldn't believe that I moved down for a guy who wouldn't even say "I love you."

And then the world screeched to a halt. And he said words that I will never forget until the day I die. He said to me "I wasn't in love with you then."

My whole world went dark. I lost it. I'd moved here for someone who wasn't even in love with me????

His explanation was that since we only saw each other once a month, how could he really know how he felt about me?

I flipped out! I kept saying "but I left my whole life for you!"

His reasoning? That if it didn't work out, he'd just ship me back. He knew he really, really liked me. And that he wanted to see me all the time.

That was it.

And sometime during the year after I moved down, he realized he was in love with me. And then he realized that he never wanted to be without me. And that was it.

Here we were, on our honeymoon in the South of France, and I was devastated. And angry. And hurt. Most of all? I was really, really pissed at myself. How could I be so stupid? And move 1,800 miles for someone without knowing how they felt?

But now? I just realize that I'm really, really lucky. Because 31-year old Catwoman wouldn't have been as naive and stupid as 23-year old Catwoman was.

And if all of this happened now? I probably would say to Sweetie Pie "wait a minute here, I'm not moving without a damn commitment or at least knowing where we stand."

And the truth would come out. And we'd break up. And we'd spend the rest of our lives looking for our soulmates, when in fact, we'd already found him or her.

We wouldn't have Little Man. I'd never have learned that my boobs don't know how to produce milk. Sweetie Pie wouldn't know what a sippy cup is.

I wouldn't know how to have any restraint on my spending (no seriously, I'd probably be worse than I am now, because I really have improved since my early 20's). Sweetie Pie wouldn't know that a homemade meal is not Wendy's eaten at home.

Sweetie Pie would probably be a recluse who'd sit in the dark alone at night and his anti-social side would come out when kids accidentally kicked their ball in his front yard and he'd come out with a shot gun and tell them to get the hell off his property.

I'd still be living on beer and fried stuffed jalapenos, wearing tops that are too low cut.

We were made for each other. And the fact that I just didn't have it in me to confront him is what cemented our relationship and ensured that we had a great shot at spending the rest of our lives together.

The funny thing is? We never go a day without saying "I love you" to each other. And those make up for all the ones that weren't said and would probably have been hollow when we dated long distance.

It's not the stuff of romance novels. Meg Ryan will never star as me in the movie (which is good, because her lips these days? Totally freaking me out.) But it's our love story. And it's the happiest one I could possibly want.




Beccy said...

That's the sweetest love story and told so well.

Blue Momma said...

What a great story! Sometimes you just have to go with your heart and not your head....and hope like hell it works out.

I'm glad it worked for you!

i dont know what to call myself... said...

I love catwoman story time! Great story, thanks for the read!

& beer & jalepeno poppers? I LOVE YOU, you slutty canadian.

And I had no idea you were SO old. Practically an old hag by my book.

And meg ryans lips? Agreed. Freaky fish lips!

AndreAnna said...

That was really sweet! And I LOVE low-cut tops and jalapeno poppers! We should hang out! ;)

And totally agreed on the MR lip thing. Why can't people leave well e nough alone?

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

You know, it was meant to be. So, he didn't love you then. I've seen him with you now...and woman, that man is so that into you.

Morgan Leigh said...

awwww. that was the nicest love story ever. :-)

it was meant to be, obviously.

Haphazardkat said...

its been my experience that men don't know what they really want. We low cut top-jalapeno eating chicks need to show them.
Which you did, brilliantly :D
Bravo! Bravo...

my minivan is faster than yours said...

This was only hard to read because now I feel like a slut for telling you "I love you" like sixteen times so far since we met through the blogosphere four months ago.

I'm a slut.

Emma in Canada said...

How do Americans say organization?

I think Sweetie Pie was sort of smart. Sometimes we rush into the being in love, and really it's just the idea. So says me, the queen of falling in love and later regretting.

Myanderings said...

Sometimes we just need to let life happen instead of trying to orchestrate it. God really does know best.

Rachel said...

It may not be a movie, but I'd say it's a good story. With a very happy ending.

Also, my boobs don't know how to produce milk either.