by Jeff Richardson
Well here we are. Day two of the epic adventure I'm calling Awesome Blog. Not a great title, but hey, I'm just getting started.
Let's see. Today I got up, took an epic bath, as I am wont to do on my days off, and read Dune, one of my favorite books. Once I finished, I sort of languidly lounged until the water got too cold and my cellphone alarm went off in the next room.
After that I did some other stuff. Who am I kidding? My life is pretty dull. However, I did get up and do some outside work with my dad moving summer furniture under the deck and then we went out to lunch at this fancy-ass place in downtown Gig Harbor.
Hoo boy. I don't make enough money to even pretend I belong in a place like that. Ten tables, a wall of wine, a wraparound outdoor seating area with a vast view of the Sound, the harbor, a lighthouse, and a bunch of mammoth richy-rich homes across the narrow sea.
The dude at the counter was nice. Walked us to our table, gave us our water, brought our menus, and blah blah blah. Behind me was a super foxy redhead and a kindly older lady talking about this and that. At this point you probably know I got problems with pretty ladies, and today was no exception. The music was real quiet, so of course I couldn't help but eavesdrop.
Two minutes in I realized this woman was not for me. Of course, I never could have afforded her anyway. Plus I was in a hoody and dirty sneakers, my daily uniform, which couldn't be helping my game. Not to mention my shaggy blond locks, which have needed a cut for months.
Here is the central problem with love addiction. When we're in the depths of our disease, we don't care what makes our attractions seem ridiculous. Even though this woman was clearly too young for me, out of my league, raised rich (which um, no thank you), and on top of all that, I'm looking like I stepped out of a college dorm room in the 1990s, I still thought I might have a shot.
Here's the really dumb part: even if I had had a chance at snagging this chick, what would I have gained? Some uptight fancy girl who'd think I'm charming for about five minutes, and then run screaming to the nearest yacht club once she realizes I'm an insane, foulmouthed, working-class musician with a history of failed relationships? Seriously. Dumb. But that's the headspace I've been occupying for the last twenty-six years.
See, when you fall in love at age thirteen to a girl you never even try to talk to because you're ashamed of your own shadow, you're not really building up the necessary skills to be successful at dating. And then when your wife leaves you for your sports buddy at age thirty-five, and the only women who will date you are either a) in their twenties, b) as crazy as you are, or c) completely diabolical and only after what little money you have left, you're not exactly in a stable position for long term domestic tranquility.
Maybe if I hadn't been abused at age twelve; maybe if my wife hadn't snared me and controlled me and isolated me for thirteen years; maybe if I hadn't stumbled from one dysfunctional relationship to the next in a vain attempt to find a surrogate for the kind of love and support I didn't receive in childhood, maybe then I might have had a chance to woo this fancy girl and get the kind of woman who could help me get my shit together and possibly get my business up and running and finally make something of my life. But then what? I'm stuck with a woman who I like more for her looks than her soul and I end up being just as lonely as I am now, only with more money.
Fuck that. I got a life to live, a career to build, and a desire to find the right woman for me who can show affection, laugh at my dumb jokes, and give me the business in a light-hearted way, the way I've always wanted someone to treat me but had none of the confidence or calmness to receive. Part of me hopes that The Love Of My Life will work on improving the way she handles problems and deals with anxiety, and comes out of her shell enough to show me a little affection when I really really need it, but the simple fact is she's probably never coming back and I'm just gonna have to accept it.
Improving myself may mean that I never find a woman who fits everything I'm looking for. Hell, maybe I'll find out I don't even like women that much and spend the rest of my life going to movies alone and reading my favorite book for the twenty-seventh time. But I hope like hell that I can get her, because goddammit, I've loved her all my life.