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I've never been good at difficult conversations. In the past I've avoided them altogether if possible, and even been known to write a letter instead of speaking the words that needed to be said. I am much better now at stating what I need, or breaking news to someone, but it is still a challenge for me.
Sunday I had to have one of those conversations. I knew it was coming, and had no clue what I was going to say. I tend to do better 'on the fly' with just having a general idea of what needs to be said and tailoring it during the conversation rather than having a whole 'speech' prepared ahead of time.
I had brunch with Mike, and we ordered our meals (scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, scallions, and feta cheese), and we were talking about our Saturdays. I told him I'd been to 'The Grove', which is a mall here in LA that I'd never been to. I've been in LA for over three years and had never been there, which tells you how much of a shopper I am. It's a beautiful mall, and I described it to Mike - the mosaic floor, the chandelier, etc. He said, 'Sounds like a nice date.' I said that it was a nice date, and then he said that I looked like I wanted to talk about it. He gave me the perfect opening. So I told him that I seem to have found myself a boyfriend, and we talked about it.
I had long suspected that his feelings for me were stronger than he'd ever admitted, even though we only briefly flirted with the idea of having a relationship. He'd made it clear that he only wanted a 'friends with benefits' arrangement, I'd made it clear that I wanted more than that. His neuroses and other oddness made me realize it never would have worked anyway. We talked months ago about just being friends, and have proceeded along that path quite nicely. Nonetheless, I still felt that he wanted more. Brunch proved that more than I ever thought possible.
He admitted to me that he'd thought about the long-term with us, and that my new relationship would disappoint some friends of his on the east coast who were rooting for us to end up together. WHAT?!?! I'd had NO idea he'd even considered that a remote possibility - *I* certainly hadn't! He was stunned that this relationship had developed so quickly, and I told him that both BF and I knew within minutes of meeting each other that this was different. By this time my emotions were welling up, and I couldn't eat anything else.
I asked Mike if there was anything (anything!) he'd like to know, and he peppered me with questions, from how did this come about so quickly (BF and I met only three weeks ago, and communicated via eharmony for a few weeks before that), to have you been intimate with him yet (Mike, it's only been three weeks!). I told him that when BF and I met, within minutes I felt as though I was 'home', that it just felt RIGHT. I was holding back tears as I said this, but I was going to be honest with him. I told him that it frightened me to admit it, and was especialy frightening to admit to him more than anyone, but that I can see myself marrying this man, and that it's unlike any relationship I've ever had (and developing more quickly emotionally, too!).
Mike even asked me if there had ever been a time that I might have considered the long-term with him. It had fleetingly crossed my mind when we first met, but his insistence that he does NOT want children killed that. I am not 100% sure that I want to have kids, but I know that I don't want that decision made FOR me, either. I always figured that would be something my (hypothetical) husband and I would discuss. He asked me what BF is like, and I stopped after several superlatives. He and I both laughed when I told him that BF is an attorney and is also Jewish (Mike is both an attorney and Jewish, too). I think they would like each other, and I'm sure they'll meet eventually, though I know better than to arrange that anytime soon.
We both were getting teary-eyed, him because he was hurt, me because I knew I was hurting him. I told him that we could still hang out and do stuff together and that I still wanted to spend time with him. He said that he figured he'd never see me on the weekends anymore, and I told him that the BF often works in the theater on the weekends, and that I wouldn't necessarily always be booked.
We'll see how it goes. I know I did the right thing by telling him about the BF, but I know that he's hurting, too. He gave me a great big hug as we parted, and then he ducked into his apartment. I walked back to my apartment and left a message with Anne. I really wanted to talk with her - she's been a witness to all my dates this year, to my friendship with Mike, to this budding relationship with the BF. I really wanted a hug from her. She wasn't there. I left her a message on both her home and cell. Then I called the BF. He knows about Mike, and knows that I suspected that there was more affection there than he'd admitted. I told him that I know that I did the right thing, but that I felt badly for Mike - and BF responded with compassion, and said that sometimes doing the right thing hurts.
Other than that, I had a terrific weekend. Spend Friday evening with BF, and we went to dinner and a movie with some friends of his from law school. There were probably 10 of us there, and the first guy I met told me that the test was coming - could I remember everyone's names? I was introduced to everyone once, and told this guy that I knew their names. "Ah, but the real test is later, after the movie." So after the movie, he said that it was time to test me, and I went around the entire group, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam and named every single person. Got to BF and paused for a moment as though I'd forgotten HIS name, and that got a laugh. They were duly impressed, as several had already forgotten my name - and I was the only 'new' person there!
Saturday BF picked me up about 10:30, and we went to look at iPODs and laptops at a local electronics store. Then we went to the theatre to see the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" - it was a lighthearted, charming musical, and I loved it. After the show, we went to The Grove and walked around for a while, grabbed some dinner, and BF bought his iPOD. He was so sweet told me that he was conflicted because if he bought the iPOD he would have to be 'less extravagant' on our dates for the next few weeks. As if I need 'extravagant' dates! I don't care if we go for a walk and cook at home as long as I get to spend time with him, so I told him to go get his iPOD. He was practically giddy about it when I talked with him today - he'd already downloaded over 1500 songs onto it, and was putting more on it when we spoke.
After brunch today, Anne and I spent a couple hours together until she had to leave for a date, and then I tried to find a pair of shoes to go with a dress for the theater in NY next week. Couldn't find the shoes, and there is ONE pair in my size in the entire country. That won't help me much, at least not before next weekend! So I'm still looking for something else that will work.
Even though I didn't eat much at brunch, I wasn't hungry all day. I drank seltzer all afternoon, and came home from shoe hunting and partly packed my bag for NY, and then laid down for a nap before coming to work tonight. Three hours later, I got up, dressed for work, ate a couple of pieces of rye toast (leftovers from brunch) and headed in to the office.
Tomorrow will be a whirlwind day - run errands, do laundry, sleep fast, spend the evening with BF and best friend, finish packing, and work tomorrow night. Tuesday morning I leave at 11am, and arrive on Long Island at 11:30 pm. Long day. And I will have to sleep a bit on the planes or I'll never make it through the day.
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