In the past, every time I’d hear someone say “I need closure,” I would wonder what exactly that meant. Call me inexperienced in this aspect of life, I’ll accept that. There is a lot I still need to learn.
My lesson in the need for closure started approximately two and a half weeks ago.
At that time, fortunately, and unfortunately (depending on how I choose to look at it), B broke up with me. While he had not intended to do it over the phone, a myriad of circumstances (one being my absolute super-bitch attitude during this particular conversation) forced his hand and he played the cards.
After a two-year relationship where a lot of our intimacy was in the form of face to face conversation, to be dumped over the phone was harsh. Truly, we had many difficult, uncomfortable, brutally honest conversations, but they had all been face to face and very intimate. At the end of these conversations there was always comfort in the form of a hug, a kiss, an “I love you,” or simply a look that said without words, “that was tough, but we survived it and our relationship will be stronger for it.”
To have the “this isn’t working out” conversation over the phone, that included bits and pieces of irritating things that had been on each of our hearts for a while, in addition to tears and a bit of yelling (both on my part because B is the calmest man I have ever known), simply hanging up a phone after all of that emotion just seemed wrong.
It created a lot of problems for me. After I calmed down about the whole break up thing, there were things I wished desperately I had said to him. Not in an effort to get back together with him, but simply because I needed him to hear me say them. Since he broke up with me, though, I didn’t feel like I could call him because I didn’t want to look like that crazy chick that just can’t get over the dude who broke up with her.
THAT created even more problems. All self-induced, I admit. I fretted every day about what he thought, what he needed to know, what I didn’t say, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It consumed pretty much all my free time. Thank God for Board meetings that must be prepared for or absolutely nothing would have gotten done at work these past two weeks.
The other problem was because I had been so abruptly cut off from him I began to idolize him. Idolize probably isn’t the best word. Let me try to explain better. When a woman has been married to an asshole for most of her life and the asshole dies, she goes into mourning. After the mourning it seems that she no longer remembers what an asshole he was, she only remembers how absolutely fabulous he was and how her life will never be the same. It’s a weird phenomenon, but I’ve witnessed it first hand. And don’t go thinking that I was the only one who thought he was an asshole. I’m saying the woman actually verbalizes (while he is alive) that he’s an asshole, but after he dies, she doesn’t seem to recall this fact. That’s kind of what was going on with me when I thought about B.
He IS a wonderful, sweet, kind-hearted, great guy, that I love deeply — but my thinking was such that I was in a weird place of “what the hell have I done!?!” “Best man in the world!” “Never be another like him, ever” BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.
I am so very grateful he made time for me last night so we could sit, face to face and catch up. So I could have closure, and more importantly, a better perspective.
We met at Whole Foods. I got there first because I needed to pick up a few things. He called and told me he’d be a little late. While I was walking around the store I noticed that she was working in the deli area. She is a woman who likes to flirt with B, even though I’d be standing there. I was never threatened by her because (a) I knew he loved me and (b) she is not his “visual” type. Interestingly, however, the couple of times I had been in Whole Foods over the last couple of weeks and saw her it caused me to cry because I thought things like “when she finds out he’s single she’ll be all over him” — I know, I’m weak and pathetic, but please keep in mind that I was in that weird post-mourning-he’s-the-best-thing-in-the-world phase.
When B got there I had my back to him. I was reading the ingredients on something. He walked up and waited for me to look up. I looked up into that beautiful face and saw, for the first time in 15 days, that twinkle in his eyes when he looks at me. It was still there. We hugged each other and I melted into his arms, taking in the scent that is only him, that I have grown very fond of over the last couple of years. When we pushed back from each other I kissed him even though I didn’t know how he would feel about it. He kissed me back and grabbed my hand as we walked through the food area so he could figure out what he was going to eat.
Nice. I noticed, as we stood at the deli for a minute, that she was still there taking full notice of the fact that WE were there, holding hands. Nice. She wouldn’t know YET that we were no longer together. I’m so pathetic. I just don’t want you to think that I don’t realize the fact.
We got some food and then we sat together and caught up on things in our life that had occurred over the last 15 days. It was so comfortable, so pleasant, so familiar. After 45 minutes of that kind of talk we moved to sitting in his car. It was more private, he said. I told him that wasn’t necessary, that I wasn’t going to say anything not nice, but he said something about not being distracted. On reflection, I’m glad he suggested we sit in his car.
The car conversation was intimate and loving. I told him how wonderful I thought he was and I thanked him for what he had given me over the last two years. He told me he loved me, loved me more than he’d loved any other woman, ever and that he would never be able to “replace” me. He also told me he expected me to enter the nunnery. Right, I said. Of course! Loving his silly sense of humor.
I did really good, didn’t outwardly cry, just a tear here and there but nothing ugly. When he called me Sweet Woman, however, I almost lost it, but still held it together.
I told him to look me up in 5 years when his daughter was getting ready to graduate from high school, if he needed a date. He laughed and assured me he would. I told him the time we spent together had been life changing and that was no lie. He changed my life and set me on a course of self-love and appreciation. I can be nothing but grateful for that.
I asked him if it was okay if I kissed him and he said of course. I kissed him, just the way I had imagined I would, for a long time. His kiss was responsive and just as wonderful as it had always been. I knew, had we been alone, in a private place, the clothes would have come off. Strangely, I was thankful it didn’t happen.
I said good-bye, got out of his car and into mine. A couple of days ago I thought that would have been the moment when the floodgates would have opened, but they didn’t. I was sad, like I expected, but not sad like I had been four days earlier (the day I waited for his call that never came). It was more a sadness that the season with him had come to an end, not the sadness of a woman who believes, if only for a moment, that her life would never be okay again.
Strangely, I thought about T’s comment, and my post on Optimism.
I am optimistic.
I am grateful.
I am hopeful.
I am happy.
I have closure and it is good.