Thursday, June 02, 2005

"We" is a four-letter word

How did it get to be June already?

Last night I was watching reruns of Sex and the City, and I caught the episode where Samantha falls for the salsa club owner who woos her with his repeated use of the term “we.” We is a powerful word. Even the most independent, self sufficient woman knows how easy it is to fall into the “we” trap. When you’re used to determining your own future, it’s disconcerting to discover how strong the urge to couple up can be. Being single can be lonely but it’s really safe. You can’t get hurt when you don’t let anyone in. How much you’re moved by the “we” can be a world shifter, especially when you don’t see it coming.

Even when you’re determined to stick to reality, the power of hypotheticals can undermine you, sort of like the scent of a well-cooked steak can tempt a vegetarian back to meat. It’s alluring to consider a possible future that features a co-star, rather than just a single name above the title. No more solo vacations! No more movies by yourself, or getting through Valentine’s Day as fast as possible! But the whole settling down scenario is ten times more captivating and dangerous to play with. A good friend told me recently that women (and more specifically, I) get into trouble because, as men are known to think with their penises, we tend to think with our desire to settle down rather than with our brains. It’s hardwired into us, as much as I and my other friends try to fight it. But at least it’s good to be aware of. The hypothetical settling down scenario is like a mirage in the desert—you want it to be real, but you can’t depend on it actually materializing.

I could make a camel analogy here, but I won’t.

There’s been a lot of “we” lately with lunchboy, and it’s scary how not scary it is. Our version of “taking it slow” is aggressive domesticity, and it’s working for both of us so far. I worry sometimes that he wants to settle down so badly that I’m just the next possible candidate, rather than someone he genuinely cares about and likes for who I am. The other night, I was joking around about consigning my ring and I said, “A girl can’t lose all her diamonds in one year!” He grabbed me around the waist and said, very seriously, “I’ll buy you diamonds down the line. You’re worth lots of diamonds.” I was like, “You don’t have to say that,” though what I really meant was, “Don’t say that if you don’t mean it.” But how can anyone mean it when they’ve only known me for two months? How could I know that I’d want that from him?

What I do know is how terrifying it is to lie in bed with someone and realize that you could care about them in a deep, real way. The vulnerability is staggering. Can I put my newly healed heart on the line, knowing that there’s a huge possibility it will get torn to shreds again? I find myself making assumptions about the way this will end, trying to prepare myself so that when the inevitable happens it won’t hurt as badly.


Ashtanga Renate said...

I just gorged a bit on your blogs - to catch up after a hectic few days.
1. I made up my own Camel analogy
2. It was dirty
3. I was reflecting on how the year-anniversary of us meeting back east for sushi was coming up...and how far you've come. You're an incredible spirit and you deserve every bit of happiness that is coming your way.
4. No deodorant is a crime.

Anonymous said...

Every new person that comes into your life deserves your full attention, just because Tom, Dick or Harry hurt you in the past, doesn’t mean that “lunchboy” will. You two need to build your relationship based on trust, because if you don’t have trust you won’t have anything. The only way to really love is with an open heart, not half closed, half leery or half empty. If he’s important to you, then you need to treat this relationship like it’s your very first and not your very last. You’ve got to give it all you have. But word of caution; most people in relationships tend to talk about their ex’s. Let the past be in the past, that’s why they are called ex, cuz they are no longer present in your life. Enjoy what you have fresh and new with “lunchboy” and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.