Saturday, October 18, 2008

Part II: A Relationship with Some Long Distance Parts

Here's the next installment, continued from here, written for Soap Opera Sunday, which is hosted this month by 2 hearts at My Life In Type. This month's theme is Long Distance Relationships. I hate this post, as it reminds me of things I don't like about myself.

Summer ended and fall semester began. I got the job of my dreams (seriously) working as an assistant teacher at Head Start. With the new semester came new roommates. My roomies were the very best the world had to offer. I love them. My room roommate was awesome. We got along famously.

[picture coming soon (once it's scanned on Monday) Me sticking my head out of the kitchen window of our basement apartment. In the background you can see Greg's apartment]

After work I would spend time with my roommates and the guys next door. Greg spent all kinds of time making his rounds on our block, especially at the girl's houses. He won't like how that makes him sound, but he really was good friends with most everyone in the ward, and he did spend a lot of time in girl's apartments. Still, he spent a lot of time at our apartment, too, and we were spending a fair amount of time alone together as well.

I liked him. A lot. I really don't remember how it started, but he wanted us to start dating. I said no. I didn't think he was ready to be in the kind of relationship I was looking for. Not the kind that leads to marriage, necessarily, but the kind where the other person doesn't spend a good deal of time visiting various apartments full of other girls. I think I was a tad bit possessive, but at least I knew it and kept it simple so I wouldn't have to get all ugly and jealous (maybe it was already too late about the ugly part). If we were just great friends I could force myself to be okay with him being everywhere all the time.

So everyone kind of knew we liked each other, but we weren't exclusive. Until the day I had an awful, awful, awful day at work. Greg and I came back from somewhere and were talking in the car and I poured out my soul to him. Then I realized that we should definitely be more than just friends, because he was too perfect in every way. I told him we should be a thing. He was like, "Finally!!!"

I won't give any salacious details about our first kiss, but I will tell you that he walked me down the stairs into my apartment and kissed me and then went home to start in on his homework. After he left, I could hear him passing one of the girls upstairs. She said, "Hi Greg! How are you?" He said," Reeeeeeally good." I suppose the fact that I remember that tells you how much I liked hearing it. I was feeling the very same way.

That period of dating lasted an extremely short time. I won't even say how short because it's rather embarrassing. But we went back to being friends, by mutual consent and I started this awful cycle of wishing we could be together, but knowing that it wouldn't be good for us.

I worked a lot and played a lot. It was the best time of my life. There were so many terrific people in our ward that there was always something going on. Always someone to visit or somewhere to go. Greg and I gave dating another shot. We lasted a little longer, but it just really wasn't going to work. But we still spent loads of time together. At that point I felt quite a lot like Cordy, if you follow her, except that both Greg and I knew we liked each other.

Okay, I was going to go on and on about that, because, trust me, I could go on and on about it (and on). Actually, I DID go on and on about it to my wonderful roommate, Andrea. Poor, dear Andrea. Andrea who was so awesome. Andrea who was cute. Andrea who was athletic. Andrea who was clever. Andrea who made people pee their pants with her hilarity. And who made some people not really get it because she was a little too smart for them. Andrea the girl anyone would want to be roommates with. And the girl who any roommate at all interested in guys would sort of wish didn't live in their neighborhood. There was this tiny bit of competition. Only a tiny bit, but it was there. Andrea was a free spirit and I felt kind of tied down because none of the guys ever knew if Greg and I were dating or not, so how could any of them ask me out?

[picture to come of summertime roommate Sarah (long before she was Sarah of Hope is Power, me and Andrea (when she was just "Me" and there were not the three in Me + 3) standing in our kitchen. Behind us on the left you see the door that leads to the stairs going outside. Behind us on the right you see the door to the bathroom. Right off of the kitchen. Disgusting.]

In October I went home to California for a few days for my birthday. One day a lovely basket of flowers (really nice ones) arrived on our doorstep. For me. I was so excited. I opened the tiny envelope. There were 2 words on it, and they weren't "happy" and "birthday." It said, "STO LAT!" Oh! A mystery!! I rushed to get my Polish book (I'd been trying to learn a little, and knew how to say "jam" and "what's new?" neither of which were on that card, thankfully) and translated, STO means. . . one hundred. Wha? There must be some other meaning that they weren't listing? LAT means. . . year? One hundred years? Not "happy birthday?" Not "I love you?" I reeeeally wanted it to be I love you. Or at least I miss you. Or at least anything more meaningful than "one hundred years*." But I had my flowers and I knew they were from Greg, and that it was a huge effort for a someone who'd lived in the country for only a few years to have flowers delivered to someone living far away, before the Internet was all that much of a thing. I was happy. (Do you see that this paragraph constitutes the "long distance" part in this post?)

I've really lost track of my own story, because I'm not sure if we tried dating again right after that or not. It doesn't really matter, though. All you need to know is that it was more of the same. I think it's safe to say Greg and I were best friends. He went out with other girls. I spent time with other people but never dated anyone else, because I'm not the type to ask guys out. So I was left to wallow in self pity. But that was only at night before bed when I would unload on poor, dear Andrea.

I knew something had to change. This was just a terrible cycle. I couldn't imagine losing Greg as a friend, but I also knew I was being torn up with our on again, off again. It was lame and I knew I couldn't handle it much longer. Plus I didn't like the jealous side of me that I tried very hard to suppress, usually unsuccessfully.

Okay, this post was a downer (hate single life drama!!), so I'm going to console myself now, and try to give a more balanced look for you guys: I really was very busy and social. And I was always looking for ways to serve others. So apart from that relationship, I really liked myself, and even when it came to things with Greg, I'm not sure what I could have/should have done differently. Especially since I would never want to change the final outcome of all the heartache!
And there will be pictures of Greg just as soon as I can get them up!

*I found out later that Sto Lat is essentially the way they say Happy Birthday.

Part Three

18 comments:

Kristina P. said...

You are going to finish the story, right?

You are a great writer!

McEwens said...

GIRL..... GOOD GRIEF, dont leave us just hanging like this!! MONDAY... I have to wait until monday....

Kazzy said...

Sounds like our sweet Lisa over-thought her social life. I am sure you were the best girl Greg ever dated, you just didn't realize it. Now I am very curious...

Melissa Bastow said...

I had a roommate like Andrea. The kind where you're like, "If you weren't so stinking AWESOME, I would totally HATE YOU!!"

So, I hope that your next installment tells us that "100 Years" in Poland means "I really like you, so why do we keep doing this on and off thing instead of just running away to Vegas and tying the knot RIGHT THIS SECOND?!" Or something like that.

Kimberly said...

Oh the cruelty of ending it there! Argh!

Erin said...

I think Greg should write his version of the story for us to read as well. Kind of like Stephanie Meyer writing Twilight from Edward's perspective. Wouldn't that be fun?

Me plus 3 Hecks said...

Thanks for the niceties! Although, of course it isn't very accurate, I will take it. :) And I will send this post to everyone I know! :) I know exactly which pictures you are going to post, too. Fun. Maybe you should include the story about making Jaba the Hut in the snow with Kristen. :) I have those pictures, but maybe they shouldn't be posted. :)

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Lisa, I'm so into this story. I can't wait for the next installment. In fact it's killing me that this has to be in installments.

I don't know why you opened with this post "reminds me of things I don't like about myself." You came across very put together to me through all the ups and downs. I actually admire you for leading a purposeful life even if your heart was pining for the man you love. I don't blame you for being "possessive" at all. Maybe because I'm an "all mine" kind of girl when it comes to my man :-)

Can you cheat and post the next installment sooner? :-)

Heidi Ashworth said...

This story is very fun--as are the adorable pics of your kids in blades of grass! Too cool!

Jen said...

I've been waiting for the next installment! I'm just wondering what kept causing all these "we can't be a thing" feelings? You like him, he likes you, you're best friends, yet it couldn't work? Details here! I need more juicy details!

Heather of the EO said...

I was going to say what Little Grumpy Angel and Heidi A. said.

I've got to get some original ideas...

Carolyn Duede said...

Oh I love the first kiss story (elusive as it was). That little detail about how he was feeling "reeeeeally good" was the clincher. I'm glad you overheard it because those are the kinds of comments that make you feel great about yourself and it takes forever before guys will say that kind of thing to your face.

*MARY* said...

you're like the new cordy

Becky said...

What!? Another cliffhanger? You are sooo lucky I think you're awesome, or we'd have words, lady!

JustRandi said...

I love this story. The only thing that's going to hold me till the next installment is that I know it has a happy ending.

sue q said...

I'm always afraid of telling my story of "how I met my hunny" because I'm afraid it's only interesting to me, but I LOVE THESE KIND OF STORIES!!! We should all dedicate a month to writing up our love-lifes ... to give cordy hope (I love her blog! I just want her to be happy!) and to give us the satisfaction that we did at least ONE THING right in our lives, because look at us now! 100 years later!

And if your birthday is in October, well then, zippedy-ay-and hidey-ho, there's something we must do...
We'll sing a song that we all know...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ... TO YOU!

sarah k. said...

Ok, I just have to say that my cute little house in Ohio has a bathroom-not OFF the kitchen- but IN the kitchen. That was some brilliant person's solution for the fact that the only bathroom in the house was upstairs, so they added a little water closet where the old backdoor used to be. Yeah, it's in the kitchen.

charrette said...

Ha! Maybe STO LAT (100 years) for your birthday was his way of hinting at eternity....