...this relationship thing. At least lately, I've felt like I do.
I'm a dork, I guess, for it having taken me so long to realize it. Or maybe because I grew up in a family where the relationship between my parents worked pretty well, I took for granted how it works, assumed that it was all the work that made it that easy. I knew about the work and compromise... at least my parents always told me about that, but maybe I came to think that the work is what made it work not realizing that the work was easy.
And so I became focused on the work of it... forgetting about the ease. Cuz when a relationship is working, it's very easy. Easy to work at.
I always tried really hard in relationships... and most of the time it seemed I ended up being the one who tried the hardest. And that's not a good thing, because the more I tried, the less it seemed any body else was trying.
Most of the time I was the one that did the pursuing, the understanding, the waiting... forgetting that it goes both ways.
Because this thing with BigMan is very easy. And it's funny to me, cuz he's not anyone I would have picked: he's not really my type, and not that his ethnicity has anything to do with it but I haven't met a man of African descent in a long while who hasn't annoyed me.
Largely men of African descent annoy me because I didn't grow up here; I don't have the same biases or understanding of "black-white" that many have, I don't carry the same racial baggage or the hundreds of years of hurt. My parents effectively erased that from my psyche by taking me away from it, by not referring to "black" or "white" but by "brown" and "pink", by continually reminding me of the Native blood flowing in my family. And I have narcissistic tendencies and can be impatient with things that don't change. So I get annoyed when people are "stuck" in patterns of "black-white".
I've had a hard time dealing with anyone carrying that baggage, but with brown men in particular because being a brown man in this country seems to automatically saddle him with a load--with a hurt. But there was annoyance with Caucasians too, cuz they suffer from the flip side of the same disease.
I had pretty much given up on ever meeting anyone I'd be able to tolerate for long, and I had completely given up on anyone who would tolerate me. It made me try extra hard to manage "the crazy", quiet The Voices.
And then all of a sudden there he was.
It's an odd feeling to be cared for, and to be cared for by someone who is secure enough to care without demanding anything in return. It took me a while to figure out that loving freely without NEEDING it back was a good thing... I began to figure it out when Nene was in the picture. It's amazing to have someone be as kind to you as you are to them... which I began to understand when the Scrub came around. The unfortunate part to that was that he was only kind in the pursuit but not at all kind once he'd gotten what he needed. It was wonderful to be "heard" and understood, and I learned that when the Cricket resurfaced, but the problem with that was he was like that with everyone (which is a good trait, really except that it meant he wasn't doing it cuz I was of value to him.)
BigMan makes me feel valued. Little things like making sure I walk on the inside when we walk down the street. Opening a door for me. Carrying a heavy bag. And when I protest, telling me I should let him because he wants to, not because he's trying to curtail my independence or rob me of my strength. That I won't be weak because I let him do it even though I could do it myself.
If I start stressing about something--a responsibility I'm not meeting, a problem I'm having, his suggestions aren't condescending. "Sweetie," he says, "you're making this a bigger deal than it really is. It will be OK." Or, "you're doing the best you can, you can't do anything else so stop worrying about it." With anyone else I might get really annoyed because I WOULDN'T stress if it wasn't a big deal, but he seems to remind me of something I already knew, and coming from him I don't mind being reminded.
If I jump from one subject to another, and he looks puzzled, having explained to him the waffle/spaghetti theory I'll say "Spaghetti, Honey" and he'll say "Well, wash the starch off so they'll stop sticking to each other."
There are times when something he's done or not done has annoyed the crap out of me, and I feel the venom rising... but I've been through enough shit to try to be fair, to sort out what I'm feeling. And I can tell him what I'm feeling and he'll listen. If he's wrong he'll say "OK". He doesn't negate what I'm feeling, even if he doesn't agree.
But most importantly he's kind to me; in a very matter-of-fact, non-dramatic way.
It makes it easy to be around him, easy to be kind in return, and I've yet to feel that any of this is "work."
I count myself lucky because I really had given up hope that I would find someone like him... and I'm still a little reluctant to let all the floodgates open cuz shit happens. And it's only been a few months. But so far, so good.
Course the downside is time. I'm a lousy time-manger anyhow, and time with him distracts me from other things but that's my own issue.
And not having any money sort of prevents me from "girls night out", and I really miss my girls. I know some of them are convinced it's BigMan, but it isn't really... it's sometimes I just don't have the carfare, let alone the drinkfare to go anywhere.
And I miss writing. I have to figure out how to get the time back to write. I'm learning so much... seeing so much...