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Lunch With Yrik

March 20, 2013
I had lunch with an old college friend the other day. Yrik and I used to be good friends. He met me at the museum. I looked down at him from the staircase as he looked at the stupid wave tower “interactive.” He looked good. Yrik has the prettiest eyes. His used to wear his hair long in a pony tail. Now it was really short. It suited him. We went to the Greek restaurant next door. We sat outside with our buffet plates.”OK,” I said. “Tell me everything.”
He laughed. The sound of his voice was so familiar. I forgot how much I used to enjoy his company. Yrik and I met as freshman in college, just as I began dating my now-ex-husband. We remained friends long into my marriage until he moved away.Yrik once did one of the most romantic things anyone’s ever done for me. When I worked at a department store downtown we often had lunch together. One day I called him to see if he was available. (This was before cell phones.) He didn’t answer so I left a message on his answering machine: “Dwyers. Twelve o’clock. Be there.” I was joking of course and didn’t expect him to be there at all. I was sitting at Dwyer’s downtown eating the plate lunch special when he walked in, carrying his motorcycle helmet. I found that adorable, especially since my then-husband would have never done anything like that.
Yrik was married for five years and remained single for nine after divorcing his first wife. He remarried two years ago and seems quite happy. I was eager to learn from his years of singledom. He had some interesting observations. We agreed that dating is brutal. “I wanted to have a code book,” he said. “So you could text someone ‘245’ and they could look it up in a book and get the meaning. And you could find the right words for what you wanted to say and text the code.” I laughed at this suggestion. It’s a good idea. It reminded me of the idea Pickle and I had for a dating-decision-making chart for men. It would start with “You See Me” at the top and have options that branch down. We never finished it.Yrik said he thought people should refrain from dating for one month for every year they were married. I looked at him incredulously and said, “Fuck that. I was married for 21 years!”

“Yeah.” he said, “I guess maybe with a cap on the number of months.”

“It’s a crap shoot.” I told him. “We’re trying to put reason and logic onto something that is instinct and biology.”

“I don’t believe that.” he said. “I have a theory but you won’t like it.”

“Bring it on,” I responded, “I can handle it.”

“I think we seek out people who will repeat with us the problems we had with failed relationships until we work out those problems. Then we’re ready for the right person.”

Ouch. Yrik said he often felt a deep sense of desperation. The divorce had been hard on him. Nine years of being single. It’s been less than a year for me and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by it. He said he wasn’t ready for his wife until he understood why he felt that desperation and how to get beyond it……how to be enough for himself.

“I call bullshit!” I joked. But then I acquiesced. I have a similar feeling, that each new person comes to us to teach us something. You learn from each person, change, grow and move on. Duck. Dodge. Weave….as the Splat Packers say. He agreed.

We talked for a long time, easily, like picking up where we left off years ago. It was nice to see him again.

Since then I’ve been thinking about what he said and wondering if I’m being pulled towards people who are repeating old patterns with me. What am I attracting or attracted to and what am I supposed to be working out? No. 5 is emotionally detached. Tennis Bashir was unavailable and inconsistent. In one of the last conversations I had with my ex, I was crying on the sofa next to him. I leaned on him and opened my heart to him. “I can’t take this anymore,” I said. “I need things to go back to the way they were.” He was cold. He told me he just didn’t have it in him to be emotionally available to me. He couldn’t handle it. Wow.

Am I seeking out similar people now? Are they finding me? Is that what Syrian Doctor was? Thirty six hours of attention then nothing. Sam was also unavailable, unable to connect in a mature and honest way. Mr. Mexico was available for only a night. Mr. 23 was a child. Leo was a blink. And now my attempt at a friend with benefits (FWB). If Yrik’s theory has truth, what am I supposed to be working out with these failed attempts?

I know I have to learn how to deal with confrontation. My ex and I were horrible at solving conflicts. We were too much alike, I think. Both too sensitive, too given to hyperbole and depression. I need someone who calls me out. Someone I can be myself with. Someone who respects me but doesn’t let me take myself too seriously. Or maybe I have no idea what the hell I need and maybe it really is all just a crap shoot. Chance. Luck. Will. Decisions. Choices. Destiny? I don’t know.

Maybe fate sent me Yrik to remind me that I have to work on myself if I want to be ready for my soulmate, if such a thing exists.

One foot in front of the other. The path lies long and winding before me.


From → Rantings

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