September 18, 2005
Here is my article for Neovox. Comments/feedback are welcome!!!
Hey girls, remember when you were young and watched "Cinderella" and you believed it could happen to you? You believed in that unexplainable, magical love that is pretty much only explained as perfection. And then you grew up, now you laugh a little at your naivety, and move on. Settle. You meet a couple of guys that you're perfectly happy with. But you've settled. You go through a couple guys, one with nosehairs and big clown feet, one who cheats on you for a good year and half, the next who doesn't cheat on you but since you've been programmed to distrust everyone due to boyfriend #2, things don't work out so well with this one either. A few others go down your line, each with their individual flaws, but in reality you're pretty happy. You've settled, but you're happy… you know this Cinderella thing is a myth; it's not even a distant hope that it might happen. It's just a myth. You're a big girl now, and you've learned it's all about unconditional love, or maybe unconditional learning-to-live-with.
But here's the thing. I was you—until this summer, that is. This summer, I realized the whole Cinderella thing can come true. And it did come true, for me. He was basically everything I never even imagined could come true. Not in his perfection, mind you (although he didn't have terrible nosehairs or a problem with keeping food in his mouth while he chewed), but in his perfection for me. He was already going in life where I wanted to be going. You know how when you meet someone and in the back of your mind you automatically stick your first name with his last name and imagine for a moment describing to your grandchildren how you first met. And then, as things get more serious, or even maybe just more possible, whether you realize it or not, you kind of make your goals and ideals fit his. Sometimes you make them be his, but usually after the first couple of those mistakes, you learn to just compromise your goals to go in the same general direction that his go. "Sure, honey, I hate snow and cold, but it is sunny 6 months out of the year in Alaska…" No really, I know you all know what I'm talking about, basically because we all do it.
But with Gavin, he was going where I wanted to be going. His views on children with special needs are the same as mine. His love for them, is that like mine. His ways in dealing with people, his views on life, his genuine outlook—like mine. I liked that. I liked that he was already on the very same road that I see myself traveling, and it didn't take any compromising or left turns to get there.
So now maybe you're thinking through your head of all ere are the people who are exactly you, and that doesn't exactly work either. Because, and I think Jerry Seinfeld described it best when he said (and this is a rough paraphrase), "Why would I want to date myself?? I already hate myself! I wanna date someone I actually like!" Again, to pull us back to seriousness, because adding random humor helps make me feel comfortable when I discuss anything even remotely close to serious, if you date yourself, you have no one to push you to the limits, inspire you to explore your boundaries and many times even surpass them. You have no one to help you jump to life on a different level.
Gavin changed me in many ways. He did for me what they do in movies—he let me free a little bit. He inspired me to be more than I am to try things completely differently and to be free. He challenged me and pushed me and made me laugh in new ways. And gave me new love.
They say write about what you know, but I'm finding as I write this that I am not writing about what I know, but rather what I don't know in hopes that this sort of self exploration may lead me to a greater understanding of love. Or at least I'm hoping that as I write this, I may come to some sort of peace.
None of that has happened, really. Except that I know what I have to find, and that is a magical love. Maybe if Gavin did not live several time zones away, or maybe even if he were from the same country as me, we might have had a long term relationship. But I don't know if it would have worked out. Of course I think it would have. Otherwise, several months later, I would not continue to think of him, dream of him, and long for him. But in all actuality, if all he did was prove to me that Cinderella magic can come true, and help me aspire to find that again, he did his job—as usual—better than expected. I know I'll probably never see him, and while every day I will relive our moments together, our last goodbye, and the tangible spark between us, I can't really decide whether I truly want to get over him and move on, or whether I want to remember him. I'm not quite sure if there is a way to do both.
But what I want for you is that you may know, through a primary source (I hope all my history teachers are happy that I inserted this wise bit of academics), that Cinderella can happen. It does happen. But in the meantime, know who you are and be happy with that. Stop settling with losers who cheat on you or make you turn into their perfect and ideal girlfriend. Stop settling for someone who doesn't adore you, who doesn't make your stomach settle somewhere in the throat area every time you think of him, and someone who doesn't make your face hurt from smiling so much every time you say his name. And most importantly, don't settle for the guys who give dutch ovens.
Posted by Christine Dance at September 18, 2005 5:23 PM
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