Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Have a good night," I wished him politely, then trotted indoors. 

He was a ridiculously nice fellow, a refreshing change than the last roster of bachelors, but the conversation didn't reflect any other similarity of character or outlook. I slept peacefully that night, having cheerfully assumed that he would say "no."

Except he didn't. 

"What?" I gasped in shock, dropping my spoon messily into my cooling oat bran as Ma sadly told me the news.

"But—but—" I stammered feebly. 

A turmoil of thoughts and emotions bubbled and seethed, much to Spock's dislike.

To pull a Tevye: 

On the one hand, he is a really, really good guy; that cannot be discounted. 

On the other hand: That's it. 

On the third hand, that dreaded phrase: "Who knows?" 

"Who knows." I hate "Who knows." Because of "Who knows," I consider relocating to an empty mountaintop, with the woodland creatures as my sole companions.

But there is also the other aspect, the one that is the true cause for my discomfort (specifically, cramping intestines). 

I have had a few crushes following a first date, which were not reciprocated. I have burned from the dreaded sting of rejection, followed by the days, months, sometimes years of thinking, If only I hadn't said "_________." Maybe, if I had said "_________," we would be happily married by now with five kids. I would have changed for him, into whatever he wanted me to be instead. I could have changed for him. If only he had given me the chance. 

But I really do know, even when the stupid delusional part of my brain is blathering away, that I don't want to change my inherent self for anyone. 

And I don't want anyone else planning to change his inherent self for me.

I don't want him to go through that which I went through, recriminations, moments of self-disgust, questioning my own identity and values—that hurl-inducing roller-coaster ride as id, superego, and ego slug it out.       

He says he understands my reasons. That he'll change. 

I don't want him to change. He shouldn't have to change. He is what he is now, as I am what I am now. If we had been 21 when we were introduced, would the issue have been an issue? Probably not. But we met now, as we are now. Isn't that, too, bashert?

He is Supermensch. He deserves to be with someone who will respect and appreciate him as he is, instead of sending him out for repairs right off the bat, even if they are voluntary. 

I don't want to hurt him, or anyone else, the way I have hurt. I asked the Eibishter to spare me that worry, and for once, for His own reasons, He hasn't.

The Tevye voice fades away, leaving only a firm, repetitive resolve. I know what has to be done. 

"Hello, Mrs. Schwartz? Hi, this is Lea. Look, he really is an amazing guy, but . . . "    


FrumGeek said...

There's nothing wrong with a little change when youre in a relationship with someone.

Princess Lea said...

Don't make me hurt you, FG. You're mixing hoidel mit boidel, and you know it.

A first date is not a relationship, and the change in a relationship is not a major rehaul. It's learning the art of compromise with someone you already click with.

Daniel Saunders said...

I think you did the right thing. I've been on the receiving end of the "You're a great guy, but..." speech a number of times. It's never easy, but with time, one comes to realize that they were right. There are any number of great people out there and we can't marry all of them.

Anonymous said...

Being alone can be boring, too.

Princess Lea said...

DS: Thank you. My nerves were shot for an entire weekend, since family members didn't prove particularly helpful. I don't like dragging out the inevitable. I'm for the Seinfeld "band-aid" method.

Anon: "Boring" was not the topic being addressed. I can't tell if you are pro "marrying anyone" or against.

Single on the Scene said...

Lea-I'm with you on this one. You can't make yourself nuts overthinking things. When I was 18/19 maybe, but now we are 'seasoned daters'. Don't let anyone guilt you into the 'what ifs' and especially not yourself! There are alot of 'what ifs' in a lifetime, and there are plenty of 'nice guys'. For us girls, 'nice' just isn't good enough. Rather tell the guy no, than shlep him around for a few more 'nice' dates only to realize its going nowhere and saying no when he already has 'feelings'. I truly feel for you

Princess Lea said...

I feel like blubbering on your shoulder. You understand! Thank you so much for commiserating.