I’ve had a few people request that I do an open-ended “ask me anything” series on Wholefully. So, here it is! You’ll see me answering a reader question each week. Submit your questions by e-mailing me or commenting on this post. If you want to be identified in my answer, include your name and website (if applicable).
Literally, ask me anything. I’ll answer anything!*
*Okay, maybe not anything, but almost anything.
You can see previous AMA responses here.
Babyface was less than 10 feet away from me when I stopped pretending I didn’t see him. He was looking right at me and it was time to put on my big girl panties and face the music.
I looked up, our eyes met, I smiled, and he dropped his bags and wrapped his arms around me. He squeezed me so tight I could barely breathe. He squeezed away all my nerves and confusion. Total calmness washed over me. There was nothing to be afraid of. I knew this man and he knew me.
He then kiss me on the cheek, stepped back to look at me and said, “You’re beautiful and it is so nice to finally meet you.”
He picked up his bags, intertwined his fingers in mine, and we turned around and walked out of the bus station hand-in-hand.
You are probably thinking that we went off and had a blissfully romantic long-weekend together. Champagne, roses, diamonds, etc.
No. Our weekend was incredibly boring.
We went shopping at Target together. We ate at Panera. We took pictures with a Polaroid. We watched Drumline on TV while eating Papa Johns and drinking Newcastle. We went and saw a movie. I dyed his hair (really). We played arcade games. We drove around for hours with the windows down.
It was perfect.
There wasn’t a second of awkwardness or resistance. We just “fit” together. It wasn’t like the love stories in movies. There weren’t fireworks or tingles. I didn’t hear bells chiming or angels singing.
(Although I did catch myself just looking over at him from time-to-time overwhelmed with how surreal it was to be feeling so content with this random dude from Canada.)
I just felt like I could be me. Or maybe even a better version of me. We laughed an incredible amount. At the most asinine things. I laughed like I hadn’t laughed in months.
It took me a few days for it to sink in how in love with him I was. I didn’t recognize our kind of love because it was easy, calm and comforting. All my past loves had been painful, devastating and disconcerting. If I wasn’t constantly in pain, this couldn’t be real love, could it? Love = pain.
This kind of love was the kind of love that has inside jokes, walks through the park, buys houses, raises kids and sits on rocking chairs. This kind of love was built from friendship, something I’d never had before. This was the right kind of love.
I finally told him that I loved him—it was the truth.
And he didn’t say it back.
But that was okay, because I could feel it. I knew he would come around. He was just afraid, right?
As time neared for Babyface to take his diesel-fueled chariot back to the Great White North, I started gently teasing that he should just stay. It started off playfully, but by the last night, desperation started settling in my voice.
I was finally happy. Not just content but really, truly happy for the first time in months (maybe even years), and it was going to end in a few hours. The confidence I had in his feelings plummeted.
Maybe he really didn’t feel the same way?
Maybe he was going to leave and it was going to be for forever?
Maybe this was one-sided? After all, why couldn’t he say those three little words? They’d come so easily for me. I’d been bursting at the seams to say them to him.
As a consequence of my constantly plummeting comfort, the pleading reached a fevered pitch as I drove Babyface to the bus station. I had never been so desperate for someone to appease me. I wasn’t a needy girl. I could always hold my own. But in this moment, I just needed him to stay. How hard was that? To prove that he loved me, he didn’t have to say it—all he had to do was stay.
I can safely say, the few minutes I spent begging Babyface to not get on that bus in the Greyhound station parking lot were the most desperate and pathetic of my life. I was so raw in those 20 minutes that it still aches to think about it.
The truth is, I had no idea what was next. We were two people, in two totally different places in life, in two different countries who may or may not be in love. He could walk into that station and I could never see him again.
Or, he could feel the same way, and we’d be left with the logistical nightmare of an international romance.
Both options totally sucked.
I begged him not to go one last time with tears in my eyes. He said, “I have to,” kissed me and stepped out of the car. I watched him walk away and crumbled into the most hysterical crying fit of my life. Intellectually, I knew he had to go, but emotionally, I was crushed that I was rejected.
Once I finally composed myself, I drove back to the hotel to gather up the last of the evidence from our weekend. I sat on one of the beds and cried for another hour. Deep, painful sobs. I was confused. And terrified. And really pissed off at myself for being so damn needy. I finally forced myself to get up, check out of our room and drove to work.
I was over two hours late for work that morning, but no one even questioned me. I’m sure I looked like a complete mess and no one wanted to open that can of worms.
At work, I was on the most horrific emotional rollercoaster I’d ever experienced. I’d giggle with giddiness and a smile would spread across my face—after all, I’d just spent a weekend with a man I was in love with! And then, the table would turn and I’d be overwhelmed with complete darkness.
I’m not proud of it, but there was a lot of self-deprecation in those hours. I must have messed up. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not funny enough. Interesting enough. Smart enough. Or just . . . enough. He would have stayed if I was.
I consider myself a very confident woman. But that day, I had spiraled myself downward so passionately, that by afternoon, I was completely convinced he wanted to do nothing with me and that I’d never hear or see from him again. Why would he?
Then, my office phone rang. My office phone never rang. It was Babyface.
. . . to be continued.