Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am clearly not a parent.

To me, all newborns look the same.

It's true. People can fawn all they want, but the reality remains: A baby is a baby. At two weeks old, they're all kinda mushy and wrinkly looking. Some have light hair, some dark, the skin color may be different. But other than that... Yeah. The same.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Memories of turquoise ink.

Two boys ever professed their love to me. I am married to the latter of the two.

The first, I met at a football game on October 15, 1993. I was fourteen years old. I don’t remember how it was we started talking, or exactly what it was we started talking about. I was painfully shy back then, so I’m sure we’d spent a few hours in close proximity without exchanging more than a few sentences. I can’t recall how or why, but for some reason, I found myself sitting alone with Dan McCue on the bleachers behind our high school's marching band.

Every school day thereafter, I’d find a way to see Dan. I accidentally ran into him in the lunch line. I altered my path between third and fourth periods from Speech class to Geometry so I could bump into him on his way from Latin IV. I started leaving school each day at 3:10 from the front door, rather than the back door, knowing his regular route home.

Every day we’d chat with my friends in front of school before walking home together. My friends all adored Dan. He was sweet, funny, and nice to us. He always smiled, always had something to say, and always made us all feel like people, instead of like freshman girls. They envied the time I spent with him on the way home. We would separate three blocks from my house and go our separate ways. Yet by mid-November, he was walking six blocks out of his way to bring me to my doorstep. He often did not arrive home until after 5:30.

Christmas came and went. He attended my New Year's Party, where he was the only boy. On January 2nd, he called me.

"I was wondering if you’d consider starting a relationship with me," he asked.

Consider starting a relationship? Not quite the way I would have said it, but it worked.


I hung up the phone and emerged from the bathroom I’d locked myself into. A friend who was visiting was talking to my mom in the kitchen. “Dan asked me out.”

“Where?” my mother asked. Silly Mom.

“We’re together now.”

How simple. He asked, I accepted. Why can’t life always be so easy? Nothing -- before or since -- has ever been so easy. We were a couple. We started holding hands on the way home from school. For the first time in my life, I smiled on a regular basis. Our nighttime conversations began to get longer. He wrote me notes in turquoise ink that he passed to me in the hallway between Speech and Geometry. I still have all of them.

On Valentine's Day, he presented me with a stuffed hedgehog and professed his love for me. In February 15, 1994, I dumped him. Love? Who can fall in love so fast? I needed to to be, to grow, to learn, NOT to be tied down to Dan McCue.

I broke up with Dan because he told me he loved me. Truth be known, he was the best boyfriend I ever had. He gave me a hedgehog on Valentine’s Day. He penned me notes in turquoise ink. He walked me home and kissed me on the cheek.

Things were simple with him. I liked him a lot for the six weeks we were together, but I don’t know if I loved him. I can’t remember. I wasn’t very nice to him in the months after we broke up, but can chalk it up to being a 15-year-old girl. I remember him fondly and want to have loved him. I enjoyed talking to him and hope we stay in touch, but I don’t want to see him again. It’s easier to love someone from memory.

Epilogue: Dan McCue found me last week on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Email cheating?

I am having a relationship with a man not my husband.

Incidentally, I have not me this man. We only know each other in that quasi-anonymous way that many people know one another these days. We know each other only via the Internet. How we met is not important. Suffice to say that in the beginning, we only exchanged passing pleasantries. Nothing substantive was ever exchanged. We knew the other's geographical location, and basic biographical information, such as marital status and occupation.

As time went on (and it always does), more personal information was exchanged. Nothing huge. Nothing major. Simple things. Opinions. Not even opinions on big issues such as the death penalty or abortion. No dialogues involving legal theories were exchanged -- the sort of dialogues that really get my juices flowing. Instead, we spoke more generally, painted rather broad strokes about inane, inconsequential things. So inconsequential that I can't even think of any.

Recently, however, things have taken a more personal turn. We've discussed the more detailed intricacies of our respective lives. Again, nothing earth-shattering. Topics tend to revolve around basic human interactions and relationships. Yet we've come to understand the flavor of our separate personalities. We are different, of course, but we've recognized our similarities.

Nothing I've shared with this man is anything I've haven't shared with Chris. Nothing I've shared with this man is anything I haven't shared with friends. Hell, nothing I've shared with this man is anything I wouldn't share here, in another quasi-anonymous forum. I've even 'fessed up to Chris about my Secret Internet Boyfriend.

I am not doing anything wrong.

Yet something feels a little "wrong." A tad bit naughty.

Chris and I email flirt with other people. We joke about it. "You're totally email flirting with that girl," I'll say to him, as he writes to someone on okcupid dot com. Then the next day at work, he'll attempt to email flirt with me, with such romantic tidbits as, "I'd like to drive it into you like a railroad spike." (He's so poetic, my dearest darling.)

Despite the knowledge that I'm not doing anything, I've identified why it feels a bit off: I like this guy. I get little flutters when I see emails from him. I like that he's admitted to staying at work ten minutes past his usual departure time just to wait for my emailed response. The giddy schoolgirl in me giggles when he writes that he's logged in to check his email just for me (even though I know it's a lie). In short: I love the novelty.

In real life, he'd be all sorts of wrong for me, even if neither of us weren't married. He lives a gazillion miles away. He's all family-oriented. Though I've not actually asked (and how did I miss this?) he's likely a -- gasp! -- Republican.

I'll could continue rationalizing away in this post, if I so desired. But my self-indulgence is starting to get overblown, even for me. So I'll stop now.

And go check my email.