Today’s guest post comes to us from the fabulous Princess Jones of The Bitch Blog. You should absolutely go check it out!
Bringer of Butterflies
You know, if a 30 year old has been dating since she was fifteen with an average at least two relationships a year, that’s 30 boyfriends. And you also have to take into account that not everyone you date will be your boyfriend. So counting casual dating, you could easily have been on dates with 60 to 70 guys by the time you’re 30 without even trying. Throw in half-dates, booty calls and one night stands and it’s very possible that you don’t want to think about your actual number of male encounters.
And through this all, you kinda develop a sort of cynicism about dating and relationships. It’s inevitable. It’s how you protect yourself from all the sucky things in the world. You’re not at the 8th grade school dance anymore. You’re in the real world. This is especially true if you’re someone like me who feels like she’s seen it all, heard it all, done it all etc. It takes a lot to truly shock me. It takes a lot get me excited. It takes a lot to give me those lovey dovey butterflies that I notice that some girls get each time some guy buys them a drink or says they’re pretty. In my world, butterflies are rare.
When I met Hubs, I was dating another guy but trying–unsuccessfully–to break up with him. I know, I know. You’re saying “Um, how can you ‘try’ to break up with someone?” Well, it’s hard when someone doesn’t want to be broken up with. Especially if he’s in the Navy and super immature so he “claims” he’s being deployed every time you try to talk to him about your relationship. I’ve dated tons of military guys and I would never break up with someone while they were deployed. He knew that. And, quite frankly, I’m just not a breakup text kinda girl. So even though I knew it was over and he knew it was over, somehow he wasn’t letting me say the words.
I was working as a bartender in a restaurant and Hubs was managing a cell phone store in the mall attached to the restaurant. There’s no smoking in the mall but you could smoke in the restaurant, so Hubs and his coworkers would spend their lunches and smoke breaks in the bar. Hubs used to talk to me all the time but I was busy and I was using the bartender nod. That’s when we act like we’re listening to you and nod a lot, but we don’t get too deep into the conversation. We just speak at the right times and say “That’s crazy!” and “Oh, yeah?”
Before Hubs was Hubs, he was just a guy that talked me to death every day, ordered everything without pork and was a terrible tipper. That’s pretty much all I needed to know about that guy. And when he would talk about how he’s looking for a good woman, in my head I would think “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.” In fact, I remember one time I went into the kitchen and told a coworker about this guy that came in all the time talking shit and how I wish he would shut up. (Oops. My bad.)
But one night, I got off work at 7pm and all the customers I’d been bullshitting with all day asked me where I was going and I told them about a little bar around the corner. I also told everyone that wanted to come hang with me, to close out their tabs and let’s go. A lot of them did. And Hubs was one of them. After having dinner and drinking at this bar for a bit, a group of us went to another bar up the road. But Hubs didn’t want to go in
because he was afraid of being seen in a gay bar because he said he wanted to talk to me for a second. And we did talk. About everything that ever happened under the sun. Until the sun was ready to come up to be exact.
But way before I finally got back in my own car and headed home that night, I felt something a little weird for the anti-pork, smoker who talked too much. The flutter of teeny tiny wings inside my stomach. Hello, butterflies. I can’t pinpoint what it was but there was something about this guy that I really, really liked. He was a butterfly worthy.
About 1am, he actually went in the bar to pee and my phone rang. It was the Other One. I answered it with “It’s over” and hung up. Harsh, I know. But that thing had been dragging on forever. It was time to put a bullet in that limping horse. No more chasing the Wrong Guy just so I can tell him I was done with him. There was a severe absence of butterflies in that other relationship and I can’t remember if there ever were any to begin with.
I would never expect butterflies to be an everyday type of thing.
The reason I don’t believe in love at first sight is because I don’t believe that love can begin until you know what you’re accepting. Lust and infatuation burn off in the light of difficulty and all the unsexy little things that happen every day. Love has more substance to it and I believe it’s the act of saying, “You kinda suck sometimes. I’m still here, though.” Especially when you’ve been with someone long enough to have a conversation with them while they’re pooping.
I’ve had to practice what I preach this year because Hubs and I have had a rough one. The getting laid off thing. The super secret bombshell surprise thing. The finding a job in NY and long distance marriage thing. Well, these things add up. But in February, when he flew home to celebrate our anniversary together, some funny happened. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t believe it myself.
It’s 7am at O’Hare airport in the Chicago suburbs. I’ve been waiting for Hubs to land and make his way off the plane forever. (In fact, I was waiting so long, I had time to adopt this Japanese tourist who was trying to find her German friend but couldn’t make any calls on the payphone because she was trying to call a German cell phone number with the U.S. country code. Yes, it was that long.) I remember looking up and seeing some some guy a ways down the terminal. “Hmm, he’s really cute,” I thought even though I’d only gotten a little more than a glimpse of him.
And then my heart dropped because I’d felt the familiar flutter in my stomach. Crap! I was feeling butterflies for someone else! You see?! You see what long distance relationships do?! The ruin everything, I tell you! Thinking someone is cute is one thing. Feeling the flutter is a fucking SIGN!
When I looked up again, the guy had gotten a lot closer and I realized it was Hubs. I was super tired and I hadn’t seen my husband’s face in six months. He’d lost a little weight, cut his hair different and gotten about three shades darker from being outside all day. But it was Hubs. My Hubs. And he looked GOOD. Butterflies good, in fact.
I’m not stupid enough to believe the butterflies cure all.
Like so many things, that queasy, excited feeling in your stomach we call butterflies can’t turn shit into sugar. If someone give you butterflies, it doesn’t take all the other things away. I’ve had butterflies before Hubs, and if something were to happen to us, I’m sure I’d find a way to have butterflies again. But I can’t imagine loving someone who never had the ability to give me butterflies in the first place.
If you’ve been following my tweets, you know that Hubs is NY because that’s where he could find well paying work he could be proud to do each day. And you also know that I’m moving there because we don’t do long distance well. And you also know that I don’t want to go. That I would rather move anywhere in this country but there. And that everything that could wrong in this move, has gone wrong and continues to go wrong each day. And that as soon as I work my way around one problem, another pops up in its place immediately. But, as much as I hate the idea of moving back to NY, I have made up my mind to go because it’s what I feel I I have to do.
Because, well, butterflies are rare. And sometimes you have to go the extra
822 miles mile in the name of butterflies.
Tags: casual dating, lust, one night stand, plan