Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

To Red

“Day after day, you treat me any old way
I wanna go but my heart says no
Acting so strange, but my love still remains
So keep on trying boy; she’s gonna change
Well I’ve been trying
Lord knows how I’ve been trying
But I can’t understand why
Can’t I be your only man?”

Phil Collins

Aw Red.

I’m not sure if I’m mad at you or if I miss you. I don’t think we spent enough time together to know. All I know is that there was great potential —  an opportunity we could have had.

On “paper” you and I were great for each other. You have a servant’s heart. You have great ambition and great achievement. You are beautiful, but you deny it. You one day hope to be a mother and homemaker. You’re the best kind of weird…like me. You’ve done your best to remain pure, and I count you as such. You’re frugal and big on being debt-free. Oh, and you’re tall. I’ve always thought tall girls deserved a guy who was taller than them.

I’ll not deny, there were a few things I internally thought “Hmm, we’ll have to work on that” but c’mon, you thought the same about me, and probably justly so. Isn’t that part of the fun of any relationship? Working out the kinks and quirks together? Compromise in some form or fashion is inevitable, and as far as it seemed, you had just the right amount of things I was willing to let go.

We’re lost souls, you and I —  lost because we’re found. Lost souls always belong together. Especially the ones that serve God, and are left behind by the world, and who choose to shrug it off, dig in and become six different kinds of awesome.

Now granted, that first (last) date was a tad rocky in retrospect. We stayed out way too late talking, and I was almost a zombie working off 2 hours of sleep and a 12-hour shift. But I thought it went way better than you seemed to think I did. I mean, seriously, when’s the last time someone just sat and just listened to you like that before, or asked about your troubles and felt for you in your situation? You thought you’d scare me away by telling me the struggles you’ve faced. You did exactly what I’ve always wanted…started with the worst and worked your way back. I wasn’t phased by it all, and somehow I thought you’d be more pleased by that. I thought you’d be thrilled and overjoyed to find someone of the caliber you sought who also accepted your struggles without judgment. I thought for half a second you might throw your arms around me. I would. But it didn’t seem to matter to you.

Remember, you apologized that you sometimes shed your hair? The next day I went back to the car and searched until I found a few strands, and kept them in a safe place in case this night was worth remembering. And yeah, I told you about it, but I figured you’d find it cute, and maybe start to give you a clue that I’m not like any guy you’ve ever met.

I thought you wanted me to hang around so we could know each other better. But you kept turning down (or ignoring, or even breaking) the dates I asked you out on. I know you think I’m arrogant, but do you have any idea how high a compliment it is for me to ask a girl out?

I thought you were feeling a little lost, and wanted someone who could prop you up when you were teetering. You were kind of a wounded soul, and I know you hate that, but I’m kind of a sucker for those. Lets me flex my hero muscles. I thought you needed a friend and confidant, and I was moved to compassion. I tried to be available and listening. You were broken, but resolute. I tried to comfort your heart, and you snapped at me. I told you how beautiful you were (that’s what I said when we first made contact, remember?) and you just waved it away with that silly “eye of the beholder” line. I reminded you that while I was proud of many of my accomplishments, they didn’t hold a candle to yours. I thought you wanted to vent your frustrations, your sorrows, your angers, your fears, so I asked about them, tried to show you I cared. I wanted to make things all better, or at least be there for you until they were. You told me I was arrogant to think I could. That stung. Isn’t that what a woman’s man is for? You never even gave me the chance to try. You told me your love language was gifts. I count three, over the span of our nine or ten-month acquaintance.

You said you wanted someone to figure you out, because sometimes even you couldn’t figure you out. Yet there I was telling you things about yourself that you hadn’t figured out, catching idiosyncrasies and pegging them with pretty accurate explanations.

You sent me an e-mail that one night, remember? You told me I had already made a difference in your life, that you appreciated and admired who I am and what I stand for. You thought it was sappy, but it really built me up. I don’t get a lot of that. It was the most precious thing I’d read in ages. I thought to myself, if you could keep an attitude like that, you and I might get along well together for the rest of our lives.

I came home early from a vacation so we could go out, and you claimed sickness. So after a five hour drive back home, I drove out of my way to leave you flowers and a get-well card in your mailbox. You were grateful, but the next time I invited you out, it was another fiasco. I finally point this out, and you accused me of keeping score. Yes, I was mad, but only because I felt I was getting brushed off. That’s how it would look to anyone in my shoes! You kept assuming I was giving you the kiss-off when all I was trying to do is get you to understand how you were coming across.

I sent you songs and links I thought would have meaning to you. You never watched or mentioned them, and if I asked, you said you hadn’t had time. (Girl, this is just me, but if someone I’m interested in sends me a link they say will have meaning to me, I leap at the first chance to check it out.)

Our grandmothers are buried in the same cemetery. We’re on the same type of medication. You hadn’t been on many family vacations and I thought it would be really awesome if we wound up married so we could do things like that together. You’re not the first person my mind wandered down a hypothetical history book with, but you really were the first viable option that my mind looked at and exchanged excited glances with the heart about.

You had a honeymoon “to-do” list. I told you that was hot. I rarely tell anyone that, ever. I didn’t tell you it turned me on.

I told you a few secrets, and you told me a few. (I understood you a little better after I read about that one condition in my textbook the other day.) I don’t normally talk about some of those things, and I suspect you don’t either. We trusted each other…fast. I still have a necklace I bought for you when I was on the island earlier in the year — the island where I worked hard every day and then stayed up late at night e-mailing you from my phone. I still have that bucket list you sent me too.

I kept checking in even after you told me you didn’t want to talk anymore. I thought maybe you needed a friend who could stick around even when your own self-defeating instincts made you clam up.

We finally started talking again, a little. You opened back up…a little. I finally felt like I was worth something more than nothing when you turned to me in a moment of grief. I even called you up at 2am on Christmas morning to let you cry to me about missing your grandmother.

I asked you what you really wanted, what you would do if you could do almost anything. You told me a shopping trip to that one store would be nice. I went to the store, picked out a gift card and mailed it to you. Turned out it was your birthday and I didn’t even know. I was basically the only guy who gave you a gift. C’mon Red, didn’t that mean anything to you? Any moron can throw some flowers and candy at you, but a tall Christian who’s waiting for marriage and is basically everything else you describe, who listens and comforts and accepts, but who also puts time and thought and effort into the gifts he randomly sends you to cheer you up — AFTER you’ve given him the cold shoulder a few times? I mean…what’s it take?

There were other buckets of cold water. Alone in a strange city in a strange hotel room late at night, reaching out for your friendship, and you responded that’ you’d be right back…and you never did. With no further prompting, it took you a couple of days to check back in, and then to see if I was alright because you hadn’t heard from me.

You said you’d been trying more lately, and for goodness sake I was communicating clearly that I didn’t feel like you were giving much back, and even offered ideas on what that looked like for me, like waking up to find texts in the morning. I finally eased my way into asking you if you’d like to see where I work and have lunch some time. You told me you weren’t yet wiling to visit my workplace…and you ignored the lunch request. You ignored it.

Like an idiot, I circled back a month or two later. We had some frank chats. I helped you strategize about some of your problems. We had some chats about your music piracy and the R-rated movies you watched. You ultimately suggested we just weren’t compatible. After some thought, I agreed. Then, like usual, you got mad and said goodbye. Again. You NEVER seem to have it in you to fight for what you care for.

Well Red, that pretty much did me in. I spend too much time worrying about other people and sometimes forget to worry about myself. You know that. I finally had to start worrying about myself. As much as I hated it, it meant letting you go. I didn’t realize how much stress you were putting on me until afterwards. I was doing everything I knew how to do, but the more I gave, the less I got. I’ve never sent flowers to a girl before, and since you seem to dislike me or toy with me so much, part of me regrets that you’re the first girl I did that for, if it was viewed with such contempt.

I know you feel trapped. I can’t fathom the depths you’ve descended to, whence you both insult and assault the attempts of a good-hearted man to be there for you. I don’t understand the mindset of someone who fires arrows at the rescue party. I don’t understand how you could feel hurt and slighted when I told you I felt you were hiding something, only to be proven right. I think only now I’m starting to understand…you’re in no place for a relationship. That would explain why you thought you were reaching out when you weren’t. The tiniest of efforts exhausted you, and you were frustrated when I was frustrated that they didn’t amount to much.

I don’t know what you want. Maybe you don’t either. It’s hard for a guy like me to find a girl like you, let alone for you to find someone like me. That’s why it’s so sad to me. If I’m half the guy you say you’re looking for, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t treat me better. I stayed up late into the night to talk to you, giving up valuable hours of my sleep just because it was the only time you were free, even though I had to be up for work. That didn’t mean much to you. I didn’t get much of a thank-you, or an acknowledgement of that sacrifice. Oh sure, you texted “thanks” here and there. Maybe you really meant it. Maybe I’m just the only one who makes sure I go out of my way to thank someone profoundly if they went out of their way for me.

What do I want? I don’t know anymore. I’m fine with drama and darkness if you don’t choose or create them. I know you hate that it’s in your life, but it’d be silly to deny it. I’d like something simpler and easier. I’d love for you I want you to come back and say you’re sorry, and you really do like me a lot, and what can you do to make it up to me?

I know what I don’t want. I don’t want to be the only one that looks interested. I don’t want to be the only one prompting conversations, texting throughout the day, the only one asking how you’re doing, or the only one listening. I don’t want short, terse answers, even if it does include smiles and an lol or two. I don’t want to be the only one that cares. And nine months is plenty of time to prove up on that.

You seem to be left frustrated at my perceptions. I’m just frustrated you can’t see it the way anybody else would. I’m frustrated that I can’t ever seem to connect with the kind of woman I’m looking for. And I’m frustrated that I never can get close enough to someone that it hurts to part company.

For a time, you were a bright spot on the horizon. I thought you were the sun I’ve been looking for, but suns get brighter as you draw nearer. We could have ruled the world. It could have been amazing.

I’m sorry this is so long. In the words of Pascal, “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.” (I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.)


November 10, 2012 - Posted by | Other Letters

1 Comment »

  1. […] On a whim, I texted a friend of mine. She responded positively, sent some texts and pictures, even invited me to call. I did […]

    Pingback by Lost Childhood and Other Musings « Letters to Luthien | December 17, 2012 | Reply

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