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.