October 30, 2007

My Never List

Divorce is an odd thing. It's such an official-sounding word for something that happens very regularly. Imagine if we vowed some sort of oath to friends and neighbors and family. Relationships change because people change. How many times have you promised to love someone? Some friends come and go and it's not because you don't necessarily want to be friends. It's just that you grow apart. Your circumstances change. Family ties sever. There's a Less Than Jake song that says: "I could give you lessons on how to ruin your friendships." Unfortunately, I think I identify with that (but that's for another post).

I used to be one of those "Never" people. I'm not proud of it and I could honestly blame my naivete, youth, and lack of world experience. I was one of those people who would say that I would Never do something or something would Never happen to me. How damn stupid. All it seems to take is one big experience from your Never List to change how you look at the rest of the items on your list. I've had experiences that I really never considered would happen to me. I thought I would be above them. I would prevent them. I thought I was too good, pure, kind, smart, healthy...the reasons are endless. But what I didn't consider is that none of that matters. Fate will cut you down. Anything that has happened to someone else could happen to you.

When I was in high school I told my father I would never have sex before I was married. His response was surprising to me. He warned me that maybe I shouldn't really make such a statement because it's impossible to say what you will do before you're in that situation. NO, I corrected. I would NEVER. I thought he would have been thrilled with my statement. I was insulted. I didn't realize that in his years of experience he knew better than to say NEVER. I expected it of myself, mainly because I hadn't had a boyfriend, and the tingles of sexual arousal hadn't permeated ("penetrated" would be an inappropriate word choice here) my inexperienced world. Another words, it's easy to be a virgin when you have no temptation. (I believe religions are founded on somewhat of the same idea.)

Then in college I fell in love with a boy. He was everything I wanted. I swear I loved him before I even knew him. We started dating and he finally kissed me (on our third date) after my friend instructed me to "Make eye contact, dammit!" when I complained of no kisses before that. It was my first kiss--ever. I drove home with butterflies and tears of happiness. But I would soon find out that I was afraid of him. I was afraid of getting close. I really wanted to, but I would stop myself from feeling anything because the feelings were new and scary to me. He probably grew tired of the game and we eventually became platonic best friends. I spent a lot of years questioning myself as he and I did "couple" things together. I hated myself for not listening to my heart.

Then I fell in love with a boy. He was everything I wanted and with him I felt completely comfortable. He would kiss me and I would love it and I no longer let myself feel guilty because I wanted to truly love him. I wouldn't let my Never List ruin my feelings. Dan asked me to marry him and I am declaring here that an item was crossed off my Never list. I couldn't resist. (But I am still proud of my decision to wait until I was in a deeply committed relationship and that Dan was the only one.) The only regret I had at that point was not doing it sooner! Did I really love Boy #1? I thought so, but maybe my resistance was a sign of something else and it wasn't from what I thought was super strength. I had no choice but to surrender to my feelings for Dan without so much as a heartbeat. I fell in love with him so easily. Even now, loving him is like breathing to me.

And coincidentally, at my wedding to Dan, Boy #1 professed his love and regret over not being able to be with me. Maybe his Never List changed that day.

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