About ten minutes ago, I was very hungry. It was one minute until my lunch break was supposed to start, and there were calls in the queue, and I almost didn’t take one, because I really wanted to eat something. I’m too responsible for that. I took the call, gave the guy his answer, and logged it in around 90 seconds. I couldn’t get my peanut butter sambwich into my mouth fast enough.
I took a few bites of my sambwich, trying to pace myself with pretzels and sips of Crystal Light Rasberry Iced Tea beverage, when my phone started singing to me from my pocket. I couldn’t swallow in time, so I answered as clearly as I could, and finished chewing and swallowing while the caller outlined the reason for their call. They didn’t even need to say it, though; as soon as I figured out who was talking to me, I knew what they had to say.
They called to let me know that I’m not as important or meaningful as they are, and that I don’t deserve to see a person that I love on their birthday.
I knew when I called her, two or three weeks ago to make plans, that it was likely that other people would be competing for her time on her birthday. It IS her 18th birthday, and her last birthday in the State of Arizona. Which are some of the reasons I’ve been looking forward to spending at least part of it with her for years now. She’s very important to me. I love her deeply, and as I understand it she loves me deeply. This was probably going to be the last time we saw each other before she leaves for college, perhaps forever.
So, I called her weeks ago, wanting to beat the rush and get plans in early. At that time, no one had officially made plans with her for her birthday, though she suspected that people were planning a surprise party of some sort. They weren’t very clever about it though, because she didn’t just find out about the plans, but they didn’t include keeping her from making other plans for the same day. So, we decided that we would get together on the evening of her birthday, and she would think about what she wanted to do in the weeks to come, whether it was go out or stay in or whatever; I wanted her to have a good time, and I wanted to share that time with her.
Our plans weren’t solid, so when we were discussing them the other day, we determined that we would probably get together in the late evening because her brother is going to be in town and she wants to have dinner with her family. Fine with me; I understand that family comes first, and that certainly doesn’t prevent me from seeing her. I’ve begun looking at our options for transportation and location by now, but again, have not made any definite plans, wanting to remain flexible to whatever surprises come up and possible changes of her mind.
(Side note: I realize that despite our great love for each other, we do not play a very active role in each other’s lives. We don’t see each other very often, and we only talk every week or two; rarely more than twice in any seven day period. Sometimes we email, and I know she reads my site whenever she has the opportunity, but there really isn’t that day-to-day connection/commonality between us. I don’t know how serious it is, but she basically has a boyfriend (her high school sweetheart, it seems) as well. I’ve been thinking more clearly about how separated I am from her everyday life, despite the constant effect our love has on each other’s hearts. Sometimes it seems like the only thing we have in common with each other in life is our love for each other, but I know that this is only because of the physical distance that has kept us apart. I have always wanted to become a more real part of her everyday life, but I feel like I’m asking too much, like I don’t really fit – her life is already so full.)
So I’ve kept my hopes up about seeing her this weekend. Her birthday is Saturday. I’ve been glad that I already had plans to see her Saturday evening, because this week on my calendar probably has more things marked on it than any other week on any calendar I’ve used. All of a sudden, things are coming up. Friday night, I won an “office party” for Modern Evil at a club in town. Yesterday, Today, and Saturday morning I have on-the-road Driving lessons, and then theoretically I will go down to the MVD Saturday afternoon and get my license. Sunday is Mother’s Day. Tonight is a full moon. It just feels like a lot.
So when a friend of hers called me up today to “ask” me if I wouldn’t mind giving her some excuse and not seeing her on Saturday, I lost my appetite. They phrased it as though I had the option of saying No, but compelling excuses like “You can have her on Friday or Sunday” and “We already have reservations” and “It’s a sort of Double-Date” and that nagging feeling in the back of my head that I never really fit into her real life sure made it feel like it wasn’t so much asking me to reneg as much as it was someone calling to inform me that my choices are secondary and I would not in fact be allowed to follow through with what I said I would do; someone else’s choices are more important than mine.
And it hurts.
And I don’t want to believe it, but I feel it.
And it hurts.
My heart sank down inside me, and perhaps I am digesting it, because I don’t feel like eating anymore. I know her lifestyle, and I know her mother, and I don’t believe that I will be able to see her on Mother’s Day. I already have a dozen people invited to show up at the “office party” Friday night in my name, and she is too young to attend herself. So much for birthdays. I love her just as much, whether it is her birthday or not, but GOD DAMNIT I’m not even allowed to keep plans I’ve made to see her weeks and weeks in advance?!?
Why do I let people walk over my like this? Why do I believe that I am so much less to her than her friends that I believe that she will be more satisfied by more time with them than time with me? Certainly, it is my love for that compels me to want her to be as satisfied as possible, whether that involves me or not, but what is it that makes me believe that she would be happier without me than with me? Do I really believe that a tangible relationship with her highschool sweetheart is more valuable than the eternal love we share?
I don’t know. My lunch hour is almost over. I’ve put my sambwich back into tupperware, so that it will be fresh if I get my appetite back later today. Hopefully what’s left of my heart won’t take long to digest and I can get back to eating something more fulfilling.