Three Words

One never understands the significance of a moment until that moment is no longer hers.  Of course, the converse is also true; it is difficult to understand the INSIGNIFICANCE of a moment until it is gone.  Certainly, anyone can attest to this after surviving the teen years. 

Very recently, I gave up a 22 year love affair.  The first four years were mere hope for what would be.  The next eight were the life of a star in sum – burning bright, brighter, and finally exploding into dust that dissipates so slowly.  The final ten were spent in mourning for what could have, should have been.  Finally, after so much time, it is over.  That is the important part, “it is over.”  How can the past 22 years bear no more significance to my life than three words on a page?  What I have held on to for all of these years had no measurable effect on my life and yet it consumed me, all to be summed up in three words. 

It’s just a funny story.  This man, Lou¹, and his friend George (yes, together, you will enjoy that later), pursued me as a girl.  Relentlessly.  Together they were a perfect team.  Lou was smart, witty, and looked at me exactly like my Irish Setter — irresistible devotion.  Bill?  Good looking, stylish, and a bit of a jerk — irresistible to a young girl, right?  Through many twists and turns I managed to have one and keep the other hanging on at various times throughout my young life.  It’s hard to say which was my first love, but I was with George when I discovered love, so he may have been first.  Later, though, George left town and Lou was there to pick up the pieces.  He spent an entire summer keeping me together, so loving him – fiercly – was a quick trip.  Quick trip, long journey.  We spent over a year exchanging teasing notes, grazing hands, and staring longingly.  Sexual tension was a way of life until finally we kissed.  Never more breathless, a kiss felt heart to soul, but scarcely on the lips.  He barely breathed that he felt like he had just run a mile, though it was a short kiss, not longer than a second.   

After a year in college it was distance that chilled us; we should have anticipated it, since distance brought us together.  As we adjusted to a new life, I found another man and married.  We struggled and separated — and again there was Lou.  And George.  Midnight phone calls.  New Years dates.  A reintroduction to society together.  George was the icing.  Lou had my heart, but this time I couldn’t be certain that he wanted it.  My husband did, though, so I decided to honor my vows and commit myself to him.  The very night we were moving back in together, Lou moved to the small town we had gone to school in (I was there during my separation).  He called, excited to tell me the news and to move on together with my daughter.  I had to tell him I was leaving and he cried.  Men, take note:  this was not a good surprise.  The smart thing would have been to tell me he was upheaving his whole life.  He (premed major) had a shot at an internship at a hospital, a job with a pharmaceutical company, or a better job at the hospital where he already worked.*

So many years wondering…Until his sister called me for drinks out of the blue after years of being out of touch.  She dropped the bomb.  Lou and George…gay.  In case you are not that into the details, let me tell you.  I have loved them, my husband, and one other man.  We have a 2:2 gay/straight ratio here.  I think.  I HOPE.  Lou’s sister was certain that I knew.  In retrospect?  Let’s just make a list.

Reasons I should have known the loves² of my life were gay:

  • 1)    Style 
  • 2)    Favorite couple time?  Shopping
  • 3)    Had dream home decorated by 3rd date
  • 4)    Went home on lunch hour to iron mussed linen
  • 5)    Ironed money to look nice in wallet
  • 6)    Smelled better than I did
  • 7)    Loved cats – had several
  • 8)    Cancelled a date to avoid cancelling appointment at Aveda
  • 9)    Rather than whipped cream, we slathered each other with Joico leave in conditioner
  • 10)  Pink Corolla

So there’s that…Pretty much goes for both of them.  Oh – and the one thing that never made sense.  How could they still be friends after so many rounds of musical girlfriends?³  Seriously?

Yeah, giggle.  This has been a miraculous journey of healing that we can look at another day.  Right now, I am learning to be me without trying to be the girl Lou and George love.  For so many years, everything has been run through a “Lou and George” filter.  It was my motivation for every decision from how many carbs I should eat to what kind of job I would take.  I said in my profile that I am a mess – don’t act shocked now.

*Don’t cry for him – he took a slacker computer job at our old high school and turned it into a job at the top of the NASDAQ IT department.  It all worked out.

¹Of course these aren’t their real names.  My name isn’t even Suzy.  Really?  You wondered?

²I am not actually slutty. 

³See above – it’s totally true despite the evidence.


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