Monday, December 1, 2008

Sue, Rabbit, Penny, Dot, and CJ -- A Prelude

Well, here’s a post that got completely away from me. It started out as such a simple little thing. The original plan was just to write up a post about my relationship with CJ. But when I opened the file and wrote down the first line (“I don’t fall out of love”), I realized that I needed to back that introductory statement up with some examples. So, I decided to briefly touch on my relationships (or lack thereof in most cases) with the other girls/women that I’d fallen for throughout my lifetime.

So I started writing, and what were intended to be just brief mentions ended up being several paragraphs apiece. Huh. Suddenly, all of the preliminary stuff was taking up far more room in the post than I’d intended. And since I figured that this post about CJ would probably end up being pretty long JUST talking about CJ (and, of course, making the point I was trying to make by talking about my relationship with her and it’s aftermath), the less space in the post that I spent talking about other stuff the better.

That was when I decided that I needed to split it into two separate posts. “Sue, Rabbit, Penny, and Dot”, followed by the main post, whose original title I’m withholding, but which did include the ‘name’ CJ.

Once I duplicated and renamed the working document, deleting half of my first draft from each file, I decided that I could go into a little more detail on the first four girls. I think that’s what completely screwed me. (Well, that decision, plus something that I found truly bizarre happening the day I was actually writing the extended version.)

I sketched in the details I wanted to talk about for each of the first four, then started writing the entry for Dot. I knew that Dot’s entry would be the longest. I was as concise as I could be, and then used that finished block of text as a template for how long to run with the others.

After having written Dot’s entry using as few words as I could get away with, it was a relief to not have that self-imposed rule when writing about the girls which I had far less to say about. I therefore ended up using a larger word count to say fewer things about them than I did with Dot. The smart choice at this point would probably have been to edit the text on the first three girls down. I instead went the other way, deciding, “Well, it their word count is that high, then I guess I can loosen up the text on Dot’s story a little, and say some more about her.” There’s gotta be something wrong with my brain.

Anyway, it quickly became obvious that the content of “Sue, Rabbit, Penny, and Dot” was becoming too big and unwieldy for a single post, and now it too needed to be split into two posts.
The first of those, now renamed “Sue and Rabbit”, works out just fine. But when I continued working on what was intended to be “Penny and Dot”, it quickly became – once again – too big for a single post. But just the right size for two posts.

Not having internet access of my own sucks right now, because this original concept I had for a post about CJ is now AT LEAST five posts. Possibly six. (I haven’t actually written CJ’s post yet, and since it’s intended to be about both my relationship with her and the aftermath of that relationship, it could quite easily see another split from one post into two.) Anyway, the current goal is to get all of this stuff posted on consecutive days, making this UNREQUITED LOVE WEEK. Or something. I don’t know.

So, we get this prelude/introductory post today. “Sue and Rabbit” on Tuesday. “Penny” on Wednesday. “Dot” on Thursday. “CJ” on Friday. (And possibly a sixth post – title currently withheld – on Saturday.) But this all depends on my ability to get to the library once a day for a whole week. So, it’s kinda iffy as to whether or not I can pull this whole thing off or not. .
Anyway, now that I’ve shoved all of this boring, behind-the-scenes, work product stuff in your face, it’s time to get on with the actual post. And as I said, it all begins with the words . . .

I don’t fall out of love.

Or at least, that’s the way it’s always been. When I was in kindergarten, I fell in love with a girl we’ll call Sue (although that’s not her real name). I stayed in love with Sue until the fourth grade. The love remained unrequited the entirety of that time, and what finally happened in the fourth grade wasn’t that I wised up and fell out of love with Sue, but instead that I fell in love with Rabbit (not her real name).

I don’t fall out of love. But if it’s obviously not going to go anywhere, I eventually replace the women I currently love with somebody else. Somebody new. There’s this pedestal in my head with a big engraved plaque which reads “Girl I Love”, and whoever I love sits there. So far, nobody who has sat there has loved me in return. And once that fact sinks in, and I eventually find a replacement for my affections, I swap them out, in a maneuver that looks a lot like Indiana Jones carefully trading a sack of sand for a golden fertility idol.

I was in love with Rabbit from fourth grade until my junior year of high school (despite the fact that Rabbit moved to California during the summer between the 8th grade and freshman year, and I had no contact with her at all after that. Plus, our ‘relationship’ was another of the unrequited variety.) In my junior year I fell into (unrequited) love with Penny (not her real name), which lasted about four years until I met Dot (not her real name) and sank into that particular stretch of unrequited love for an incredibly long three years until I met CJ (not – as I’m sure you’ve realized by this point, having recognized the pattern – her real name). And fell, once again, into unrequited love.

About my use of the word ‘love’ in the above paragraphs: I have no idea if I’m using the correct term or not. (Especially in the early cases.) Might be love. Might be crushes. Might be infatuation. Might be like like (as in, “Sure she likes me, but does she like me like me?”) Might be lust. Might be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of an underdone potato. (Or was that one of the potential explanations for a Dickensian ghost? I’m always getting those two mixed up – love, and Dickensian ghosts.)

I don’t know. The feelings were different with each one, so maybe I’ve gone through all of those, depending on which girl we’re talking about. Could have been mixed instances of crush, infatuation, and lust with no actual love at all. Could have been five different cases of true love. Could have been a little from column A, and a little from column B. Really, who’s to say?

The point is, whatever the emotional attachment is that I keep having, it’s never really seemed to just go away on it’s own. Even when it’s logically obvious that any chance of a relationship – sometimes any chance of even ever seeing the person again – is gone, the emotions stick around. I’m sure that these kind of emotions stick around for everybody who has them. But not for as long. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about this tells me that I’m weird. That I’m obsessive, that I hang on for too long.

But that’s how it seems to work with me. I fall in love. I doesn’t work. I stay in love. I don’t fall out of love. And eventually, I fall in love with someone else, and replace ‘being in love’ with the previous woman with ‘being in love’ with the new one.

So, try and keep that all in mind when you’re reading this week’s posts. I’ll probably remind you of this information when I start talking about CJ.

Come back tomorrow and read more about the first two girls on the list, Sue and Rabbit.

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