the common thread

I have a friend in Austin that’s going through a divorce. We don’t get to talk often; i’m on the west coast and busy. She’s in Texas and probably busier.

Her marriage wasn’t a terrible marriage in the way that those sorts of things go but it was fundamentally flawed. Ten years later and she’s single again.

And in one of our far too infrequent conversations, she made an interesting comment- one of the things she’s been pondering is what commonality, what common thread have the men in her life had?

Her question began the same question within me. But whereas her direction was probably more towards finding a common fatal flaw that she was initially either attracted to or overlooked, i took it a different direction. I started to wonder what the common thread was in the women i’ve loved; many of which i love to this day to one degree or another.

I’ve had more failed relations than successful ones. I’ve had some lovers that i should have devoted more emotion in, i’ve had a few where we probably shouldn’t even have been friends. Thankfully they’re the vast minority. But i’ve had stellar partners that have ended up being friends. I’ve had one that i thought was the brightest and most beautiful star in the universe only to find out that she was a nailbomb of anger and to her, i was only a repetition of a series of guys that she lived with for a while, then found another to move onto. But even she had this common thread.

It’s taken me a while to find the words for this and i’ll probably still fall short. The women i’ve known, the ones i’ve loved and the few that have loved me in return tend to be very intelligent, very sexually confident and outspoken but not brash. None of them [that i can remember] wore make up. That speaks to a sense of confidence right there. I’d never date a woman that wore makeup on a daily basis. Anyone unable to leave the house without drowning their face with makeup is too insecure for me. Sometimes they wore lipstick for special occasions but that was it. Categorically every woman i’ve taken seriously has rejected the bullshit, hype and factory processed insecurities that magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue perpetuate. A few were the kind of women who would read Bitch or Bust.

Some were culturally literate and all gave without condition. Well, almost all.

There are probably other traits but those are the most obvious ones that i can remember right now.

The process of going through my memories, as fractured as they might be at times, has yielded some very unexpected yet rather pleasant realizations. For my part, i’d like to think that i’ve been equally as unconditional in my giving, that i made each of them laugh at times, that i could make them feel safe and happy [or at least happy for that moment] when i held them and that each of them always felt that even without me exactly being the most exciting guy in the world, they could at least call on me if need be. And i hope they found that i  held some degree of honesty that wasn’t as common as their other experiences might have led them to believe.

Unfortunately i know it’s an impossibility. People are people. Differences in communication, expectations and the paths of life that each of us are set on [or have avoided] by the time our worlds mingle mean that some go away never to look back.  But for those that i’ll never hear from again, i’d like to think some kindness and decency flowed both ways.

On a related note, Facebook has been an odd blessing. Several women i’ve known over the years to varying degrees have found me if only to say hello. I owe two of them letters, another one still owes me an explanation and some accountability (she’ll never deliver either) but the fact that these women have found me give me a reason to feel justifiably optimistic that i’ve endured a bit longer and faired a bit better than they might have once thought.

I’m grateful to have Adelle in my life. In so many ways she’s the culmination of a lot of karma, patience and exemplifies why timing is so important. Unconditionally kind, never jealous, always understanding and always willing to talk instead of argue are just a few of the things that make me realize how insanely lucky i’ve been. I’m not sure six years of brutal solitude was worth enduring but i am sure that if she can endure me for six years then it’ll be a good beginning. =)