Thursday, May 31, 2007

Individual responsibility

When I was in college, sometimes before we went to parties, I would approach one of my best friends. "Don't let me flirt with T," I would say. But inevitably, once the lights were dimmed and the drinks were poured, I would be standing close to T sharing my best smiles and giggling flirtatiously. Sometimes one of those friends would pull me aside. "You told me not to let you flirt with T tonight," they would remind me. I always insisted that I was an adult and knew what I was doing, pulling my arm away from hers and striding back to T's side until I got the attention I was looking for.

Those nights it wasn't alcohol that removed my inhibitions--I had already shed my responsibility, leaving it puddled at my friends' feet.

As I face T's wedding this weekend, I am sorely tempted to lay my mixed feelings at the feet of those same friends. But then I picture the faces of my boyfriend and T's bride and I swallow my words, silently packing my responsibility in my luggage with the dress for Saturday's wedding.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Never say never

A few minutes I ago I ran into a coworker at the top of the stairs. "Why don't you just call your roommate your boyfriend?" he blurted out. I blinked, surprised by his sudden question but not surprised that he had confirmed my belief he was attracted to me. "Because he isn't. But I am seeing someone else," I revealed, ending my careful use of the term "friend" and gender-neutral pronouns.

I'd never admitted to him that I was dating anyone.

Last night, as I walked up the street to meet him, I saw a man leaning against the rock wall. As he casually waited there, eyes cloaked behind sunglasses, I thought, "Wow, he looks good. I wish I was meeting him." And then he stepped away from the wall and smiled at me--it was my boyfriend F.

I've never seen him from that perspective before.

Two weeks ago I got teary at work thinking about the last sorority meeting I would attend as their chapter advisor. The more I thought about it, the clearer it became that I wanted someone to lean on that night while I faced that transition. So I actually told F that it was going to be hard for me and that I would appreciate his support. He gave up his evening to be downstairs during my last sorority meetings, ignored by most chapter members and scrutinized by the few I had told about his role in my life. After, he returned to my house with me--reading my speech I was giving the next day and supporting me with his presence.

I've never admitted to someone that I needed support, much less allowed them to give it to me.

After years of forcing our relationship to be "just friends" and never thinking of him in a romantic context, I told him I would date him.

I never thought it would be F that would help me push aside these other "nevers".

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I toyed with the silver ring as we chatted last month, moving it from my right hand to my left and on and off my left thumb and ring finger. I barely noticed the way my hands were moving as I indulged the absent-minded habit. My hands paused and she glanced down at them.

"Getting used to wearing a ring on that finger?" she asked. I followed her gaze and realized the plain silver band had settled on my left ring finger, possibly mimicking a plain band of gold that might one day rest there permanently.

"Oh no, I just play with rings when I wear them," I quickly corrected her with a smile, as I made a show of moving the ring to my other hand.

This morning I grabbed that same ring out of my jewelry box. As I toy with the ring in between thoughts, I think back to her question and glance down at my hand, appraising how the ring looks on that significant finger and wondering what it would be like to have someone else place a ring there.

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