Monday, October 01, 2007

Chronic Weakness and Ambivalence

In a moment of weakness, I text messaged BJ on Saturday morning. I was sitting in the restroom of the restaurant where the family and I had just had breakfast on our way to watching the Illini beat Penn State (the Illini so rock this year!). I had been pining away for him all morning, and given that he and I had also eaten in this particular restaurant at some point made my longing for him so much stronger. So I sent the following message:

“I miss you. Can we talk later today?”

I wanted to talk to him on the phone, to hear his voice, to connect with him. I knew I couldn’t call him right away but thought that maybe at some point after the game was over I could find a bit of privacy and make the call. I also didn’t expect him to text me back immediately. For one thing, it was early enough he might not even be up yet. For another, I thought he might want to consider his answer to me prior to answering. I was also prepared not to receive any answer at all. That would have quite clearly answered the question too.

Later in the day, though, as I was sitting in the stadium enjoying the Illini’s performance over Penn State I felt my cell phone vibrate in my pocket. I assumed it was BJ’s response. I wanted to read it immediately. I didn’t want to read it at all. Such is the life of the chronically ambivalent. I did not read it immediately. I waited until much later in the game, at a point when it seemed that the Illini might actually pull out a win or at least not lose by a great margin against a nationally ranked team. I opened my phone with some trepidation and looked to see the following message:

“Yes we can talk. I miss you too.”

My heart sang! He misses me too! I started to think about calling him and what I would say, and then I thought about what he would say. Soon enough I realized that if I were to call him that we would replay the same conversation we’ve had a few times before in recent weeks. We would end up in the same place, and my heart would still be broken but with the wound reopened and generously salted. So what was the point of calling? No point. None at all. He can’t be for me the person that I need. I am not the person that he wants. Why put myself through it again? Why rehash old hash?

But as the chronically ambivalent often do I waffled. Maybe I wouldn’t call him on Saturday, but maybe on Sunday (Oh, like that would make any difference at all to the content of the conversation or the outcome? Ha!) I could call. After all, his Hawkeyes lost on Saturday to a team the Illini had already beaten, no less. How could I resist the opportunity to gloat? Maybe we could just have a lighthearted football talk without the relationship stuff. Yesterday, several times throughout the day I considered calling. Each time I talked myself out of it. Who was I kidding? I couldn’t talk to him without bringing the relationship stuff into it. I know me. No way was that going to happen. Eventually, late last night I sent him an email apologizing for the text message on Saturday and explaining why I never called.

How many more times will I succumb to my moments of weakness?

And even more importantly, will the Illini actually become a real football team for the first time in years and make it to a bowl game? And if I focus my energies on Illini athletics rather than interpersonal relationships will it lead to more contentment and satisfaction or will that also lead to eventual heartbreak?


freebird said...

Sending a hug of empathy for sending the text. Sending a big smile 'cause I'm so proud of you for not calling. You're getting stronger TS.

Trueself said...

FB - Thank you. Always happy to accept hugs. Don't go getting too proud yet. I'm afraid we sparred via email yesterday. Bad Trueself! Bad! Bad!