I have a feeling that this entry is going to be ramble-y. I apologize to the ether in advance.
I had a lousy day today. I can't really blame others, or circumstances. I made it lousy all by myself. I want to blame PMS! Yes! Another way to avoid accountability! Guess what?! No! Impossible! Wrong time of the month to assign the blame to my uterus. Shit.
I refused to go to the gym. I did not eat breakfast. I knew when I arrived at work that I was not my best self, but I usually don't have much trouble shifting gears and shellacking over my agitation. I thought I was succeeding at it today as well, but still I managed to irritate Zina. Zina! I know. That's horrible - only really seriously annoying people annoy Zina. Even though I was making a concerted effort NOT to irritate Zina, I did. Twice. You know, if it happens once, you can maybe parcel out the blame and say, "Well, s/he is not communicating effectively today." Twice, though? Must've been me, Baby! I went to my office and started working. Ray came in, but was not full of his usual chatty bullshit. He sat down and started to work in silence.
My eyes kept filling.
I felt compelled to text Chuck and ask if he was mad at me about anything.
He called me straight away. No he isn't even the tiniest bit mad. Why?
Well... the tone of voice he used this morning when he said such-and-so sounded a little...
He promptly offered to mind his tone of voice better in the future.
I was vastly ashamed of myself. I knew it wasn't him. I don't want him to be all mindful when he's with me. I said so.
I texted him a little later and said that I knew there was nothing in his tone of voice. That I knew I was being dumb.
Finally I turned my chair to my co-worker Ray and told him that I was not at my best today.
"I know. The real Kate is not here today." Now, Ray is a guy; but he can sometimes be the perfect confidante, because he will tell me the unvarnished truth about myself in a very caring kind of way.
"I am being stupid. I am acting like a child. I am on the verge of spreading my un-joy to all and sundry near and far, my boyfriend in particular." (to riff a little on A A Milne)
"You ARE being stupid. And childish. It's true, Kate; but at least you can see it in yourself and don't deny it. You need to stop communicating with Chuck for today, until you are in a better frame of mind because you will end up picking some stupid fight with him and then you will really be sorry."
"You're right. This atmosphere is all emanating from me."
I told Ray that it helped to talk to him.
"It's a good thing you did! Your atmosphere was so tense I was about to stage an intervention."
As evening rolled around, my mood improved. Chuck actually surprised me by showing up at the office with a pizza. Just seeing his face made me feel better. I focused on plans for fun things we want to do together in the upcoming months. This lightened me enormously, for some reason. I had a good night at work. We got a lot of people enrolled for classes, and I felt that I was returning to a better version of myself, if not the best version.
So what the fuck was THAT all about? Unfortunately, I think this goes back to relationship insecurities. Coincidentally, my friend KM posted the following quote on her Facebook this evening, from Captain Correlli's Mandolin.
"When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconcievable that you should ever part."
I am NOT ready for that transition! After berating my self for being needy or overly romantic, I realized what my problem is: I've never had this before. Chuck has probably loved like this and been loved like this, so maybe he is less disconcerted. But... the last time I was in a serious relationship with someone, I was saying "I love you" to a man who wouldn't respond. My words would be met by silence. This continued until after we were married. Little nicknames? Flowers? Not always having to make the first move? None of it. And now this. Now? When I'm old and have crow's feet? Could I not be forgiven for dragging my feet? No matter how often he does small favors for me or buys me chocolate or tells me that I am amazing, I will NEVER take it for granted. These things still stun me. I am still in a minor state of shock.
And I kinda hate myself for caring. Where is all my armor? I took it all off and stowed it away about 7 months ago. I want to be the tough one. I don't want to be hurt. Furthermore, I don't want him to think I'm weak and vulnerable - or he may hesitate to do the necessary and end it if his happiness in the relationship doesn't survive the transition.
And this transition into a "mature" relationship has to happen. Inevitable. So say all the wise people. Yet, as we head in that direction, I find myself thinking: a sexier, more beautiful, more overall fabulous version of me could forestall it. No?
Chuck's tone of voice on the phone today? There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. It was matter-of-fact. Questions about the Fiat. About the Tacoma. Plans to help me with a car shuttle tomorrow, so I can get the Tacoma to its new owner. He is always so helpful. It was a very "mature relationship" kind of conversation. I remembered how, up until recently we would often talk on the phone at the end of the day and tell each other everything. These were often silly, rambling conversations. Flirtatious and affectionate. Lately, that practice has kinda dried up; and I have to admit that I miss it, despite my discomfiture on the phone.
The matter-of-fact conversation continued. How was my day yesterday? Fine, fine. He was distracted by things happening at his end. I thought, "Why am I here?" I moved quickly to end the call, cutting off his, "I love you."
Solution? I need to move forward into the next stage of the relationship and be OK with the transition from "romantic/erotic" to "comfortable/mature". Captain Correlli's Mandolin goes on to assure the readers that we will be good with this stage - that it is an adventure in its own way, too. Get me there! I don't want to be cutting off any more "I love you"s.