I’m not sure how it worked out this way, but Chuck and I have had some pretty intense conversations at Perkins lately. The first time it was over lunch, the next time was dinner and the last one breakfast. We had the same waitress twice.
It was while we were at Perkins eating that we’d open up a new topic and who knew it would go where it went. But we certainly got there. In a hurry no less. By the time we were all talked out, we were also emotionally drained.
I guess to cut to the chase, we stumbled upon old baggage that was trying to unpack itself in this new relationship. So over the Tremendous Twelve, the Tomato Basil Soup or the Cheese Omelet, we were wading through all sorts of old stuff. Not necessarily a light-hearted date, but an added brick or two to the foundation of our relationship. It’s beginning to be quite the structure. And some how, we managed to still be standing and together at the end of each conversation.
No offense to Perkins or the Tremendous Twelve, but I think we will frequent a different restaurant next time.
After the second Perkins Talk, we were sitting in the three season porch at Chuck’s. We sat there in sort of a stupor and watched the sun set. It was lovely, I think. I remember seeing it. But my mind was swirling with thoughts about our earlier conversation. What does it all mean? Can we continue moving forward? Should we? Or should we part ways now and save ourselves a lot of risk? Can we manage the risk? Is it really even current risk? Or lessons learned from past errors in judgement?
That’s when the phone rang. I took a deep cleansing breath hoping I’d regroup as Chuck answered the phone. I could hear his voice out in the kitchen talking with someone. I used the moment to decide we’d be alright. We would, I’m sure of it.
It was when he got to the doorway, with that ‘OMG’ look on his face that I wondered if I had made that ‘sort of’ decision prematurely. The phone call was from a piece of that baggage. (Is it still called baggage if it just happened?) I’m not really sure.
The sun had managed to set in spite of my thoughts that time was standing still. Life goes on whether you’re ready for it or not. Guess it was karma that came along to bite him at just the right moment.
I was feeling so overwhelmed. Nauseated even. I told him I thought I should just go home. Panic spread across his face as my words registered in his ears. I’d only had three hours of sleep, and it’s dark and home is two hours away. Now I had the ‘OMG’ look on MY face. I felt too exhausted to deal with this now.
His baggage had scratched upon one of my issues. I was trying so hard to be logical. To be wise. To not panic right along with him. One of us had to be strong in this moment. I wish the cat would have stepped up. Slacker. Instead, she just crawled up on my lap and waited to see what was gonna happen.
What ensued was another hour of couples therapy with me leading the session. I hate having to be my own counselor. But sometimes it’s the only option.
I explained what was going on inside of my tired little head and my ego-bruised heart. He started explaining.. then justifying… (which sort of pissed me off) so I pulled out the big guns. I had no choice.
I began, “If the shoe were on the other foot… and I was the one who had gotten a phone call like that…. would you be sitting here saying it doesn’t matter?”
Even though it was dark, I saw the color drain from his face. He opened his mouth and quietly admitted that he wouldn’t be very happy about it either.
BINGO! He got it.
You’ll have to stay tuned for the resolution. I’m not sure we’ve found it yet.