Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Turn

Okay, so this post has been a while coming. I needed to get my thoughts together before posting, mostly because I wanted to do it right and do it honestly. And frankly, I do the whole ranting-silliness thing pretty well, but when it comes to intimate feelings, I don’t do so well. So part of the delay was my own inability to put these things into words.

And before I start, I should mention that this post is sentimental as all hell. Please divert your eyes if you can't stand emotional chicks. If you choose to keep reading, consider yourself warned.

Remember a couple weeks back, right before my sister’s wedding in Rhode Island, I was going through this whole new world of dating, and trying to figure out what I wanted and needed? There were a few stumbling blocks, road bumps if you will, and of course I had to overthink everything (hey, I’m a psychologist, it’s a casualty of the job…and my own neurosis, who am I kidding?) I posted back then about my expectations of my ideal partner – and at the top of the list was that I expect that when the other person thinks about me, he smiles. The list that follows included things like expecting to have my hand held, expecting to be called on my shit, expecting health and the ability to look at personal flaws, etc. It was quite a list.

Little did I know that, while on that trip, I would receive a comment on one of my posts that would eventually lead to the person I wrote about. When I read that comment, I was sitting in the kitchen of the rented house, it was 2AM, and the wedding just ended. I was trying to get out a post before boarding my plane in a few short hours, and I read it. It was simple, nice. The comment was from The Big Cheese, a blogger whom I had not yet read, and he commented that my family was good-looking.

Over the next two weeks, the comments continued, and finally I emailed him to thank him for such nice words. That email turned to more emails, and then eventually a comment that his job might land him in Chicago. When this trip was confirmed, I emailed that we should grab Chicago pizza, seeing as how he had recently posted on the food he eats on the road. Numbers were exchanged, and one night, three days before he came, I returned home to a message asking if he could call me. I said yes, the phone rang, and four hours later, we hung up. The next night it was five hours. Then four hours the following night. It was like we had processed through 20 dates before even having one. Dating in dog years, he calls it.

Our first outing was the Cubs game. Weird, but at that time, I seriously thought it was just friendly thing. He was a guest in my town, and I was showing him around, and where better to take a sports freak then Wrigley Field, right? In the car, he made me laugh myself silly, and after the game, he kissed me under the Wrigley sign. I kinda figured at that point this was a bit more than a friendly outing. I remember at one point in the evening, around the eighth inning, when I thought something might be up, I called my sister from the bathroom stall in a panic, freaking out that, despite our marathon phone calls, I was so nervous that I couldn't form a cohesive sentence in front of him. She talked me off the ledge, gave me a pep talk, and sent me back to my seat with a pebble of self-confidence. (He still claims he never noticed my lack of conversation.)

Over the next three weeks, The Cheese spent most of his daytime hours working, and we hung out at night. We did a lot of cool, somewhat touristy things which I have highlighted in recent posts. But the more we hung out, the more things started to go in a direction that neither of us really expected.

But the logistics were tough. He would be leaving after three weeks. For crying out loud, he lives in a different state, he travels 25 days out of the month, and I am rooted in my job and life here. I am in the process of buying a house, and he just started work on a Master’s degree. How on earth would this work? I suspected we both wanted it to, but a long distance thing, though I have never done it, would be a tough task to undertake.

But we’re doing it. The way I see it, our relationship started with our ability to converse for hours, without even ever seeing each other. So now, hundreds of miles apart, we are calling on this ability to keep things together. Back to the marathon phone calls, the emails, the text messages – because at the end of it all, it is this part of the relationship that is going to make things last. As I once posted,

My needs are simple. I don’t require a particular career, or car, or house, or style of clothes (although I used to have this thing about wearing the right shoes – don’t ask, I’m over it now…sort of…unless it involves socks and sandals….then yes, there’s still an issue). Because you can’t see this stuff in the dark. You can’t see this stuff in the glow of the light over dinner in a dark corner of a restaurant. You can’t see this stuff in the tough times that inevitably will happen, and through which you will have to persevere together. It’s in those tough times, that I hope both me and the other can recall the time when we thought about each other, and smiled.

I guess the reason I am posting is because this blog is about my life, not just the triathlon part (as evidenced by poop posts), but all of it. And now Cheese is a part of my life. Last week he posted his version of events, so most of you all know what’s happening. But I have more reluctant. Please know that it is not because I was confused about my feelings, but rather I didn’t quite know how to put things into words. And even though I will talk crazy stuff about my life (like my nephew’s poop), I felt intensely private about this relationship. Almost like putting it out there for everyone might break the spell.

So the guy I had posted about, the one who I expected to meet all my expectations, actually exists. He is honest, ambitious, kind and selfless. He is side-splitting funny, intensely insightful, brave with his feelings, opinionated and intelligent. I could use a million words to describe him, but none of them would do him justice. He challenges my rigidity, my views, and my plans for the future. There’s a compatibility, as if we compliment each other’s strengths and flaws, rather than clash against each other. I stand back and think in amazement, “Ah, so that’s what reciprocity looks like!” Above all, he is real – he is the most down-to-earth, honest, real person I know. It’s is mind blowing still that a simple little blog, a couple of seemingly random instances, and clicks of a mouse have brought this thing to fruition.

I know this isn’t the Cheese you all know, and he’s probably mortified that I let out his little secret that, underneath all his hard talk and humor, he is all of the aforementioned description - but oh well.

So, that’s that. He took a lot of crap for his words, so I will end my post by giving you some pictures of his last day here. Thanks for letting me get all that out.

This was taken after dinner on Taylor Street - we went to Rosebud (yum!) and then for Italian ice at Mario's. I showed off my high school, and coincidentally my college, which are basically on the same street.

On his last weekend, we went to the Field Museum, and then walked north to Millennium Park. On the way, we encountered the Irish Fest, so we had a beer (well, he has a beer, and then half of mine because I couldn't finish), then off to lunch! Oh and funny story - Yeah, by car got broken into that day. I apparently was one of about six that hit in the Soldier Field parking lot.

Cheese and Sue the Dinosaur.

Oh, I forgot - on the walk north, we passed Buckingham Fountain, and Cheese was so excited for some reason to see the "Married with Children" fountain. And no shit, there were no less than five weddings between the Fountain and Millennium Park. Wow, how very original. As a matter of fact, right behind me in this picture, a couple was actually getting married.

So we make it to Millennium Park. I don't know if Cheese was just pouty because he was hungry (we both were starving), or just joking around. With him, it could have been either. Anyhoo, this is at Cloud Gate (I think is the formal name) otherwise known as the Bean.
Five bucks to the first person who can tell me what that weirdo is doing to my right.

At the restaurant, Park Grill.
And that is it, in a very long-winded nutshell.


The Big Cheese said...


Duane said...

Meg! I am so happy for you!!!!!!!

Spandex King said...

You guys look like a couple.

Cindy Jo said...

You light up when the two of you are together. That is a sure sign. Of what, I don't know. Multiple orgasms, perhaps?

I knew something was up when you took him to a CUBS game! Seriously, you guys make a great couple.

Brent Buckner said...

I'll see Spandex King and raise:
you guys look like a *happy* couple.


Andra Sue said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! What a nice post. You did a fine job of writing about your feelings. :)

And for what it's worth--the two of you look awesome in those pictures. Just like you "fit" each other or something, like you've been together forever.

Maybe you could suggest to Cheese that it's time he get a different icon picture without mold on it. You know, to commemorate the new relationship. Hee hee.

momo said...

ah, meg - i'm so, so happy for both you and the big cheese, i almost don't know what to say... well, how 'bout this...

mazel tov! ;-)

The Clyde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Clyde said...

Oh Christ, not you too....

sue said...

Megan, you are so ready for this... My heart is dancing for the both of you.