It takes really good friends to ask really hard questions. It is decidedly easier when you’ve gone through a couple bottles of wine and some basically raw steak. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to come up with good answers then. So when one of my soul-sisters looked at me last night and asked me, “Alyssa, do you even believe in romance?” I couldn’t think of anything to say at the time except, “YES!” So very yes.
“You are just so logical and rational about everything, so I’m asking, really, do you believe in romance,” she implored.
People who don’t know me very well think that I am super passionate and emotional. People who know me really well know that I’m mostly Vulcan. I am logical to a fault, in a way that makes other people think that I think they’re stupid or their problems are petty. I don’t think that. I think I’m a freak, not them. I want desperately to…. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t want to be them. I love being me.
The answer is yes, I believe in romance. I believe in romance against all odds. I believe in the most illogical and unexplainable things that are infinitely possible when you’re really in love. But I couldn’t prove it. Until I was driving home, with enough chocolate cake in my belly to soak up the red wine, thus making answers possible.
Jeremy. As much as I hate to admit it, that was the most “in love” I’ve ever been, and probably ever will be. And it was pure romance. There was nothing logical or rational about it. I was swept off my feet, toes tickled by clouds and head 100% upside down. It was pure chemistry. We laid in bed saying to each other, “I guess I’ve never been in love before.” He got me to dance to cheezy cover bands in Starlight lounges atop skyscrapers. I drove 14 hours at a time to see him. And I would do it again just for that first kiss hello, even if I had to turn around and go back after just the kiss.
Logically, there was no way it could work. But everyone who saw us together remarked that they have never seen either one of us so happy. We planned futures, he told my daughter that someday we’d live together and not be so far apart. It was the shit they make movies out of. Movies that I walk out of.
But I was all in. 100% in. I believed. I did not question it for one moment.
Until it was gone. We went from “I love you so much I can’t stand to be away from you” to never speaking again. Until I drove that 14 hours to get my stuff out of the drawers that I had moved into.
So, do I believe in romance? More than anyone you’ve ever met. I can “go there” with the blindness that belongs to love and nothing else. I believe in it. But I’m not sure I want it. I’m really not. I know I’m helpless when I find it, but I’m not sure I want it.
That is the only time I’ve ever been swept off my feet. And I felt like a fool. My friends (our friends) all wanted me to hate him and be angry at him and call him names. But I couldn’t – I’m too logical for that. The timing was bad. He wasn’t ready? I don’t know. There’s nothing wrong with either one of us, it didn’t work because it didn’t work. I would have given ( or given up ) anything to be with him and make that new life we talked about.
When it was gone, all that stuff that I would have given up was still splayed out in front of me and I had to look at it and say, “well, do I want this or not?” Turns out, most of it, I didn’t want. My heart was broken. But broken hearts are inherently open, and out of them flow all the baggage that’s holding you back. Into them pours all the energy and transformation you want and can handle.
So yes, I believe in romance. I believe in the transformative power of romance. The transformative power of dreams. The transformative power of having everything you ever believed to be true about yourself challenged, and even destroyed. I believe in magic kingdoms, and happily ever after.
But I believe that it is all inside of you, even if it sometimes takes Prince Charming to show it to you, and the evil spell of fear to make you face it.
In answer to her question, however, maybe not. In that I am not looking for it now. She correctly assessed that my logical brain has taken over again. Not because I don’t believe in romance, but because I’m back to thinking about how things actually work.
When Jeremy and I broke up, it didn’t just break my heart. It broke my daughter’s heart. She loved him too. She loved his “daughter.” She loved the life we talked about building together. Just tonight, at dinner, (as she was feeding his former dog bacon,) she told me how much she missed him.
And therein lies the rub. This is not just my life anymore. It’s my daughter’s too. And the children of the men I date. (I miss his “daughter” so much, and still want so badly to be there for her!) The things we do impact them. I have no problem letting my daughter see the struggles and the tears, and the rebirth after the fall. But I owe it to her to think about it, before I take her on the ride with me.
I don’t need to be swept off my feet right now. I don’t want to be. I want good times with friends who help me revel in the amazing things that I am and do. I want those good friends (or friend, singular) to have an amazing cock and now how to use it. (And maybe a tongue too.) But I don’t want it to mean redefining my world or his in a way that sweeps either of us off our feet. Maybe that makes us really comfy, and playing footsie. And maybe that connects our worlds so that we can share something larger than the sum of its parts.
If that turns into “happily ever after,” I’m all for it. But I don’t want the story written for me, I want it to unfurl slowly, one chapter at a time. With my feet on the ground. (With perfectly pedicured toes and someone who likes to kiss them.)