Sunday Confessions: Dear X Love
Dear X Love,
It has been taken me a long time to write this letter.
The last time I saw you was one of my last trips to my hometown in Indiana. I wasn't expecting it and always thought that if I saw you again it would be under different circumstances.
I was hoping the next time I would see you I would be way better than you.
I wish there was a way to say that and not sound like a prick but there's not.
Not that it was often, but when I imagined seeing you again in my minds eye I would be a knockout. I would preferably be stick thin, perfectly dolled up, very well off and colder than ice with an attitude reflected that I barely registered you in my memory.
But that just was not the case. While walking around a store with my husband I saw you walking in front of me.
It had been 14 years since we seen each other but there was no doubt in my head that it was you. I immediately turned back into the confused, easily intimidated teenage girl I once was.
Momentarily gone was every ounce of confidence and beauty I gained in every second I was away from you.
In mid-sentence, I faltered and told my husband I wanted to leave. He gave me the strangest look but picked up on my weird vibe and said sure asking if I felt alright.
Wishing to go undetected, I turned around and immediately searched for the closest exit.
Then I heard the shrill voice of one of my high school acquaintances, "Jennifer! Jennifer is that you!?!" resounding off every object in the place.
Instead of looking to her face I looked at yours hoping against hope that you would not notice the spectacle unfolding amidst the fruits and vegetables.
But they you were.
Staring back at me with that shit eating grin on your face. You half turned towards me then shrugged your shoulders and flipped your cart back around and kept going on without looking back.
I don't know why that hurt.
That was probably the kindest thing you ever did.
As I stood in the middle of the store catching up with a girl I barely remembered who basically just wanted to know how I was faring in life (hello that's what Facebook is for) I couldn't concentrate.
I wanted to turn around and march up to you and tell you so many things, so many things.
But mainly thank you.
Thank you for dating me when I was awkward and weird. You would be annoyed to know, I still very much am.
Thank you for telling me school was dumb and all a girl really needed in life was a good man to take care of her. You'll be irked to know we now have different views on what a 'good man' really is.
Thank you for pointing out that I should be thinner at every chance you got. That never happened but I am working on loving myself one fat roll at a time.
Thank you for telling me repeatedly that kindness was weakness and reminding me I was the weakest bitch you knew.
Thank you for passively aggressively leaving diet pills on the counter every time I came over and somehow sneaking them in my purse.
Thank you for comparing me to every girl you thought was prettier than me. For telling me that I'll never be worthy to be someones wife.
Thank you for making me feel ashamed of my sexuality and help me confuse lust with love.
Thank you for pointing out that silence was golden and if I wanted a real man I would leave my mouth at the door.
Thank you for feeding on my desperate need for love and approval from a man.
Thank you for taking advantage of my teenage self. Letting me think that I called the shots when every move of yours was orchestrated so I would react accordingly.
Thank you for being you.
For being a misogynistic, judgmental asshole.
Thank you for introducing me to that so early in my dating life.
Thank you for helping me make mistakes early on.
Thank you for letting me see that bad lives. That mean spirited people are popular. That mean can be alluring.
Thank you for helping identify the bad so I can appreciate the good.
It took a few years with my husband before I realized that no but was coming.
"Your hair looks nice but the clothes you wear are ridiculous."
Your make up looks okay but it's a shame you need it all."
Your tits are nice but look at your ass."
I get no backhanded compliments. I get just...compliments.
After all these years it still takes me a moment to adjust to this kindness.
He tells me how he loves watching me fall in love with every painting when we go to the art museum.
He tells me he can't find a prettier smile on any face that passes him by.
He tells me he loves me with no conditions. He loves me through the good and the bad and he wipes my tears when life can be a little much.
He laughs when I go on a feminist tirade but not in a belittling way. He laughs and says he feels sorry for any fool that tries to argue with me.
We fight, we laugh, we make up (a few times if necessary) and we love. Wholey, and completely and in a scary, beautiful way.
And I don't even know why I'm even writing to you right now. You didn't deserve my time or dedication then and you certainly don't now.
The last thing I have to say to you is I forgive you for every hurtful thing you ever said and did even if you're not sorry and wish you nothing but love and contentment for the rest of your life.
I'm done saying what I have to say to you my X-love.
Now, now I'm writing to my current love who I should have been writing to all along.
Hopefully, my 'always love' and never my 'X-love'.
I'm not sorry I hold you to such high standards. You always live up to them.
Im not sorry that when we fight I force us to make rational, logical arguments rather than devolving into useless name calling.
I'm sorry for the first couple years I held back and assumed you would be like every other imitation of man I've met up until that point in life.
I'm sorry I don't say I love you enough and that I let life consume us rather than choosing to put each morsel of life in our mouths and enjoy each flavor even the awkward moments.
I'm sorry I steal the covers, don't do laundry, and blare showtunes when I am doodling around the house.
I'm sorry that you were underappreciated by your first love but so glad it didn't work out.
I'm so glad you have always been patient and loving with me refusing to give up when I would want to throw in the towel over something trivial.
Thank you for being you.
Awkward and quiet. Always scaring and confusing people with your dry sense of humor. Walking to the beat of your own drum. Calm and consistent. Odd and ornery. Book lover and time ignorer.
Thank you for loving me for me but most importantly demanding me to love myself on a daily basis.
Thank you for helping me write our love song, our triumphant melody , our cacophony of mistakes and messes culminating so beautifully into our everyday life.
Thank you for helping me love myself and letting me be part of a once in a lifetime love.