On Them and You.

J always makes me smile:
We are talking about the communication. It was not odd, just out of the blue.
“I mean, I just don’t get it,” I’m saying. “She’s way out of my league. She’s beautiful.” I draw out the beautiful, lingering on each syllable.
J agrees. “She’s gorgeous!” He says. He extolls her physical virtues for way too long.
“Seriously, J,” I snap good-naturedly (I rarely snap good-naturedly. I’m in a great mood.) “Enough! I know how much better looking than me she is.”
“Oh,” he says, pausing. “Sorry.”
We laugh.
“Do you think he fell in love with you?” he asks.
My turn to laugh alone. “No,” I say, certain.
Our conversations now revolve around the usual things. Work. School, when I’m thinking about it. My inability to find a suitable mate; his ability to find the best ones. It’s a good pattern. We used to meet for platonic margaritas. I miss that.
I wish girlfriends were more lenient. But I get that too. I always hated when H would let his ex get weird around me, which always happened. There’s nothing worse than the awkward run in with an ex. She and I faked a good friendship for so long that eventually it started to become real.

But it’s gotten me thinking. Can you really be friends with an ex? Should you be?

R(2) invited me to climb Kilimanjaro with him a few weeks ago. Then he invited me to the Bahamas. Such a tease – he knew I couldn’t take time off work. I would have gone in a heartbeat. He texts me to comment on my horrible date blogs. He thought the one about him was especially hilarious – he found it when we were still dating. It was all about how to talk to someone sixteen years older than you, the high suicide rate of CPAs, and the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. I loved that post. I would later come to adore the man. We still meet for dinners, drinks, whatever. He still beats me at Scrabble every time. I still love that we drank a bottle of wine from the year I was born. (I love that about men – that they actually have wine from the year you were born.) He always teases me about the bookshelf. He built the first one, I still need him to come and build the second one – it’s been nine months. I’ll never get around to it.
I still see his friends sometimes. They’re great people. Sometimes I’m with him when we all hang out, sometimes I run in to them at bars. We always exchange pleasantries. It’s all good on the surface.

You date. You separate. You re-acclimate. Then your relationship becomes something new and beautiful.

E and I have been trying to meet up to hang out for the longest time, going on months now. We should have gone out tonight, but I begged off, still sick and tired. I never want to have fun when I’m sick-grumpy. I wanted to take him to the 1Up, since he’s never been, and I think the nerd in him will geek out so hard over life-size Jenga. We’re excited to be friends with each other. We had a long conversation a few weeks ago. He’d just run another marathon (gross) and rocked it. I love this. I love that even though we have literally nothing in common (except our love for his dog), we can still sit there and be fun people. Next week. I’ve entered it into my calendar, to make it real.

My boyfriends always hate that I’m still friends with most of my exes. I don’t get why. I think that’s a good sign.

I keep bringing up Portland in front of K, for some reason. It stemmed first from public transportation (theirs is so much like ours), then it was the homeless youth, then it was the spiders (HUGE!). He finally asked me what it was about Portland and I had to explain. College, I told him, for a year I did the long distance hell with a kid from Denver who went to school out there.

It was the first time I’d brought up any of the past. I was nervous. I haven’t felt the way I do since my junior year of college. I want to keep him. Therefore, I can’t just let anything slip out my mouth like it usually does. I want to tread carefully with the past. I have nothing to hide, but, still… I want this exploration of each other to be organic (and USDA approved).

I’m talking to E about it today.
“I can’t read him,” I say, frustrated.
“You’re hard to read, too,” she says.

For now, it’s wonderful. I’d like for it to stay like this. Nothing’s official – it’s still in those weird tingly stages. (That was a really gross adjective, I apologize. But I’m sticking with it.) But I like where it’s going. I like what it is. I like that he likes me for who I am – awesome.

(Also, and seriously never tell him this because it comes out so creepy unless I explain it properly, he totally fits into my life plan of having my last name hyphenated to B-S. I think it’s so badass. Today, my favorite professor from college was telling me to go get my doctorate instead of just my masters and I had the sign in my head: Dr. Barry-Something. And it was beautiful. I will only date people whose last name begins with S from now on. I’m already on my third “S” of the year. This may be a strange 2011 trend, though. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.)

Now that I sound absolutely insane, I’m off to bed.
Work is crazy this week, and I have a half-completed marketing plan that’s due by like 10am. Oh great, deadlines. Yay.

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