Thursday, October 18, 2007


So this morning, after a week's visit, the Cheese has returned home. Well, he didn't actually go home, just off to a new adventure, but he did leave Illinois.

The visit was interesting. We went for a couple of runs and swims (he even pushed me to finish through my cooldown during one swim when I wanted to quit), spent time with friends and family, and even partner-in-crimed our way through late-night snack run to datisfy our sweet tooths. I felt bad because there were a couple days where work got hectic so I had to spend a ton of time supervising, staffing, returning calls and putting out little fires here and there. But he found ways to spend his time, which periodically included watching my new television and even cleaning my apartment.

It's funny, this relationship thing. It's like, we don't see each other for several weeks at a time (though still keeping up our nightly multihour phone calls), but then we have whole week together, and its like cram time - go-go-go. So basically, if he lived here, we would be on, like, month two of dating. And if we were going by the Traditional Book of Dating, we would basically still be in the honeymoon period. You know, the one where all's good and happy, and we're on our best behaviors, so on and so on. And if following the typical Traditional Book of Dating, we would still be in that agree-on-everything, gosh-aren't-we-cute-and-cool, I-just-love-everything-about-you-and can't-live-another-minute-without-your smiling-face kind of place.

And that's not to say that we are not still there. We are. But in our dog years dating, when your dude is in your home for 24-hours a day, when the date doesn't end at the end of the night and you get to go home and do all your little secret bedtime rituals alone, or wake up in the morning and drink 20 cups of coffee and take your morning constitutionals without the presence of a second set of ears, you tend to move quickly past over those all those good manners and "gosh look at me, I'm perfect and I am only going to show my perfect parts." No, we kind of fast forwarded to the "yeah this is the real me - love it or leave it baby."

In a way, this pace is both jarring and refreshing. By jarring, I mean that you learn A LOT, and QUICK. Sometimes it's a lot to take in. But I can be pretty understanding about a lot of things, and frankly, Cheese has been as well.

And by refreshing, I mean that all the stuff is right out there. The good and the bad. And it's nice, because you don't have to find yourself, six months down the road, emotionally wrapped up in a relationship, only to discover some of these things that would make your skin crawl, and have to go, "Oh crap, now what?" And then you end up resenting the poor bastard and wondering, "What happened to the Prince Charming that always wore cologne, and dressed sharply, and brushed his teeth? And who is this man who farts under the covers, leaves his wet towels on the floor and stinks up the bathroom right when I need to take a shower?"

And those are the more-or-less superficial issues. When you are just starting a relationship, you're all googly-eyes and kissy-faced, and you can't ever imagine arguing or fighting over issues. But couples fight - its inevitable. But at the early stage, you avoid this aspect for a while, living in LaLa Land and mooning over how perfect the two of you fit together.

At some point, the crap will hit the fan, and then all the ugliness comes out. Two people, two sets of defense mechanisms, two personal histories and baggage, two ways of fighting and communicating, and two sets of assumptions and interpretations. This is the meat, this is where you start to learn about the person - the real person - and not just the surface, chivalrous guy who opens doors and pays for dinner and laughs at your jokes and feigns interests in your work. No, here is where the real person emerges, and depending how bad it gets, you may be faced with some difficult truths.

Oh, and before I go any further, this is simply a reflection, and NOT a commentary on Cheese - he does none of the above, least of all leave a stinky bathroom. He's actually quite thoughtful about this part, what with the fan and open window and all. And he brushes his teeth and smells quite nice.

And trust me, I DO NOT take these things for granted.

Yeah, I scored.

So the pace at which this relationship has evolved has been quite different for me. I kinda appreciate it, though. And while all the real stuff is right there, right now, the pace also helps keep the "newness" stretched out for a little while longer. So each time we see each other, it's almost like the first time. And frankly, the words, "more beautiful than what I remembered" will never get old.

(I will pause here for the moans, groans, and puking noises. Get it out now. There's just a bit more...)

Cheese, as you know, is very tell-it-like-it-is. There are no head games, no ulterior motives or self-serving reasons for doing nice things for me. And he is honest. Brutally honest. He really seems to want to hang with me. For me. Weird.

Maybe its my new cute haircut.

And no, Ellen, it's not a perm. I'm all natural, baby. 100% real.

Love it or leave it.


Cindy Jo said...

LOVE the hair! Mine is naturally curly too.

Just don't get married and the irritating stuff won't overtake the relationship. I know - I'm married. So I know what I'm talking about!

Andra Sue said...

Your haircut is fab! And so is your Cheese! :)

Andrew said...

Well done Dr. M. I'm very happy for you

Spandex King said...

They actually let him back in the state??????

Lance Notstrong said...

That haircut is "sassy" :-)

stronger said...

There's something really great about that comfortable newness factor.

The Clyde said...

So you survived Cheese's dutch ovens?


Prin said...

Great post. :) I'm a sucker for reality. I want the "honeymoon" stage to be over with asap so I can know how far in the deep doodoo I'm in (long distance relationship or not. :D)

I know I'm just some random blogger, but I'm so happy for you guys. Right now, I'm all bitter and angry at everybody who gets together (:D), but you guys seem to have something really special. :)