“other people are not medicine.” — amy poehler

I.

the sound of your voice is beginning to fade away from my memory. lately i find myself struggling to remember the curvature of your face.

i used to love looking at your face.

but ...your timing has always been impeccable and my phone vibrated just in time to pull you from the edge of obscurity.

we chatted about nothing and everything for what felt like an eternity but was, realistically, no where near as long. exchanged stories while keeping on mum stories. an awkward check-in more than a true conversation between old friends, if the truth were to be told.

and, all the while, all i could think about during our masked conversation were...

...your kisses.

were they wet?
sloppy? 
soft?
how was your breath? 
do you bite lips? 
what about your tongue? 
how do you use your hands?

i once had a lover kisser that had the softest, fullest lips - very similar to yours. his kisses were gentle and intentional and attentive - with a methodological progression often only left to dramatic musical scores. there was always a beautiful orchestration whenever we touched.



but his breath was bad. nothing sour or repugnant; just a stale undertone that always left a bad taste on my tongue. i was between scylla and charybdis when with him. minus the scylla, i guess, since his mouth was always a good place to be.

we didn't make it long enough for me to observe or question his dental habits. had i not been such a naturally coy girl, i probably would have moseyed up the courage to question him anyway. in all the ways i am not shy i can be very shy.

either way, i wonder if your kisses mirror his. i pray they don't. well, actually, i hope they do mirror. for important reasons but  also don't for probably more important reasons.

my inattention betrayed me in the end.




II.

the 'mere exposure effect' is the psychological term used to describe the phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. for example, my mother is a nutritionist and i was raised eating an extremely healthy (and mostly vegetarian) diet. today, my natural inclinations are still towards a vegetarian lifestyle and i crave salads, fresh fruit, vegetables, and the occasional cracker & cheese like most individuals crave cookies, cakes, chips, and burgers. my favorite cereals are raisin bran and chex while my version of a "bad" cereal is honey nut cheerios.

(side note: remember 'mere exposure' when parent-ing happens)

the mere exposure effect is also called 'the familiarity principle of attraction'.

have you ever met someone you didn't like very much at first and then over time you started liking them (or disliking them less)? in S2E6 of House, M.D., Dr. Alison Cameron chronicles her experience with this principle when she recalls falling in love with her husband's best friend. they had begun spending more time together when her husband/his best friend was dying and.... the feelings began to grow as they became more familiar with each other.


i soon started to reflect on how many things that I began to feel like I needed simply because they were orbiting my aura. ASOS, Target, and Zara become some of my favorite stores because they email me frequently, thus lending me to spend a lot of time clicking through their space. constantly shopping cause i constantly exposed myself to the trappings of that lifestyle. do i even really care about clothes and fashion to the extent that i have been portraying?

and i can't seem to shake the realization that the more we communicated, the more charming you became.

not to say that i didn't believe your soul could be charming - its more that something in you reminded me of a desert oasis laced with land mines when we first met. everything was always so damn inviting that i almost overlooked the barren land. i was never sure where i was supposed to step. and was always leery of why i was even there.

a thing that starts as niceties blossoms into something so much more enthralling due to unsuspecting "innocence" of consistent conversation.

how many people/relationships would we have avoided had we just ignored a text message? decided not return a phone call and watch one more episode of our favorite show? or even just stuck to our gut and not exchanged numbers? stayed home and read the book like we really wanted?

"We are afraid to assert ourselves because we don’t want to hurt another person’s feelings – only to end up betraying ourselves, which doesn't serve us or them."

i guess that's the importance of 'the deep Yes'.

my ambivalence betrayed me in the end.




III.


something about this quote makes me feel uncomfortable.

while i can see the truth that can lie in it, there is also a subtle stab at the self-worth of woman that is tied into the messaging.

if he doesn't commit does this mean she isn't dope? 
is she not enough?
why is his lack acceptable and mold-able but her's is not?
and why should the responsibility of commitment fall on her shoulders? 
if he isn't 'ready' to commit, why not just leave her alone? 
seems a bit selfish to tie up her emotions, don't you think? 

i'm a not relationship expert. i can barely keep regular friendships alive so you can easily imagine how badly fail at the romantic end of the spectrum. for all its perks, there definitely are downsides to the asocial life.

that being said, i'm leery of messaging that suggests one must be a certain way in order to worthy enough of love & commitment. i don't like telling anyone that who they are, in this very moment, is not good enough.

just say that we don't fit. be clear on why it doesn't work. be brave enough to step away from the things that don't serve you and your ultimate purpose.

part of being an adult is understanding when you are not enough and being willing to step away - instead attempting to place the reason behind your lack (and the responsibility to address it) on others.

don't insinuate that women must work hard to make him see that she is worthy of his commitment... that she must "rearrange" in order to change him and make him ready.

significant others are people, not pets or projects.

“Following your heart also means eliminating the things that no longer evolve you.” — Erykah Badu

so... maybe if his goals don't align with your's, you should put on your big girl panties, love yourself a bit harder, and be brave enough to step away from the things that don't serve you and your ultimate purpose. know that you matter and always remember you are wholly enough.

there was a time when he didn't see my humanity.
in truth, i'm not even sure that he recognizes it to this day.
either way, he told me i wasn't enough
over and over again, he told me i wasn't important. and that i wasn't worthy.
told me i didn't matter.
...and i naive enough to fall into his fallacy.

my lack of self-worth betrayed me in the end.




IV.

“Someday, we’ll run into each other again, I know it. Maybe I’ll be older and smarter and just plain better. If that happens, that’s when I’ll deserve you. But now, at this moment, you can’t hook your boat to mine, because I’m liable to sink us both.” — Gabrielle ZevinMemoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

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