~Friday, June 29, 2007

The Smoking Gun

I actually don't mind Scott smoking as much as I thought I would. His fingers stink and his mouth always has the faint taste of tobacco, but when he smokes we go outside on my balcony and talk--really talk--without the distractions of TV or music.

I stuck my foot between the rails and looked down, "What are we?" I was comfortable asking him this, perhaps because I already knew where he stood.

He took a drag of his cigarette, "Well I've always been in relationships ever since I was young--"

I cringed. This was not the response I wanted to hear. I am the available girl when he wants a girlfriend. I am not special.

"My family actually suggested to me that I needed to take a year off of relationships," he continued, "And I decided to do it. At first I was really lonely, but then I began to enjoy not having to always worry about someone else. I actually didn't go out much at all. I was working at the restaurants and I was too tired to do anything. I learned so much about myself, Sarah. I really got to know me. And I think I'm ready to get back in that stuff."

I felt a little sorry for Scott. He only just got to know himself. This was my second time living alone, and that's when I learned my strengths and weaknesses. Being the exact opposite of Scott in that I rarely have relationships, I had plenty of time to learn me. I was comfortable with myself by the time I was 25, not 30 like Scott.

"And how long have you been single?" I wanted to know if he followed through on the year-long pledge or not.

"14 months."

I smiled. A year and then some. It wasn't as dire as I originally thought. He sounded perfectly primed for a relationship. He's had his act together for two years and has been single for a year. He says he knows who he is and is comfortable with himself. He has a firm foundation for the way he's going to live the rest of his life and I know I won't have to worry about him slipping into his old habits.

"I've been single for close to two years," I admitted. "But then again I'll date someone for months and not be committed."

"Not me," he thoughtfully took another drag of his cigarette, "If you want to do this, Sarah, and be together, I'm willing. It's up to you. You tell me."

And in that moment I hated Scott. I hated him for making the decision mine because I knew I would never ask for it. I couldn't. I am too scared of what a relationship brings to have it be my idea. My fault. I wanted him to say, "This is what I want" to absolve me of all responsibility. No, this couldn't be my idea.

"So what are the ground rules, Sarah?" he prodded.

My heart thumped and I didn't like myself very much at the moment either because I knew I was about to give the wrong answer.

"How about you tell me when you start sleeping with someone else."


Single Girl said...

Eeeek! Oh Sarah! Be strong and go for the commitment, he totally sounds worth it. If you feel like you don't feel "special," say something to him, it's okay to ask for reassurance. Don't sabotage this!

Ashi said...

I haven't been a reader for too long but sounds like everything that Jack guy isn't. What is keeping you from committing?

melissa said...

why do you do that? you start to sabatoge from the get go! he is so into you and it is so obvious so why go and say something like "how about you tell me when you start to sleep with someone else?" sarah, you have got to stop this - enjoy and have fun - you are both worth making it work, don't assume it is going to be like the other relationships

SuvvyGirl said...

Dork! I say that with love and kindness. Not the answer I was praying for as I read and I'm curious and not about his reaction. But I have a sneaking suspicion that he has you pegged and knows that you are scared. He seems to be the type to be understanding about it, but will hope that you will eventually open up to him. And when he left it up to you he was trying not to put too much pressure on you in a guy sort of way. And I'm sure he realized it kinda backfired on him. :P But I still say jump...falling is the fun part. And if you're not ready to jump then paraglide. :)

Sarah said...

Single Girl- I'm an idiot! I know!

Ashi- Fear of getting hurt. Fear of trusting. Plus we haven't known each other that long.

Melissa- See my comment to Single Girl :P

Suvvygirl- The rest went something like this: he nodded silently. I cried out "Why does this have to be my decision!?" He said he might decide to be exclusive and he'd let me know. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week.

Anonymous said...

Ok I kinda liked your answer in a really dysfunctional kind of way. I mean we know he's ready for a relationship, right? We know that you're a total freak and might I say claustrophobic about being exclusive? So he's doing 2 things I see...1 lobbing the ball in your court to see if you'll lob back possibly testing you a little and 2 judging exactly how you'll take risks.

I might be wrong but did he say he wanted to be exclusive with you or that he wanted to be in a relationship...without specifically identifying YOU as his desired catch?

I'm wary. I'm sorry but I am. Then again I'm in the no strings non-relationship relationship stage of my life now so I say exclusivity is a little too exclusive. I'm afraid he's needy. UGH - I feel like a dissentor (sp) for even thinking it.

Peach said...

Sweetie, I'm with you on this... if you're having to convince yourself this early, then something, god knows what, but something isn't doing it for you somewhere along the line... your fears, if it was the right person, would be lessened not heightened... however, be careful, you might get used to his lovely ways and then wonder later why he leaves for your lack of commitment ... do it or don't do it honey, maybe just do it and see...

londongirl said...

He seems great. And as you say, ready for a relationship. So don't bloody sabotage it, woman!!!!!!!!!!!

Go for it. Both feet. Scary as it is, you have to try. no?

Jen said...

I am really liking Scott. He is the kinda guy you should be with. Don't fight it...

dont eat the token said...

Add three points to his awesome chart if he gets your humor. Because I know you were only half serious about that last comment!

I think it is a little eek-ness about moving so fast. But I always believe there's a gray area where it's okay to not date other people and just hang out together, knowing you're still testing the water, together.

You both deserve to be in good places with a good partner. I'm sure of it.

Rosanna said...

He sounds like a lovely guy (in a sentimental sort of way).

If I ever asked le beau 'what are we?', he'd reply with some sort of smart-arse comment about being bone and muscle and viens.

Good luck!!

Drama Queen said...

Ahh if you feel more comfortable with it then don’t put a label on things. You and him will both know if you are together or not. Sometimes our need to define things wrecks them. . .

Go with the flow and not against it Girl!


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