Saturday, July 25, 2015

First time I was published

For those of you who know about my love life travails, here's something that might point out some patterns I've been in for a long time! In 1999, I wrote a letter to Garrison Keillor who was writing an advice column for at the time.

Dear Mr. Blue,

I've fallen in love! He plays me Joni Mitchell CDs, sends me poetry, feeds me Cherry Garcia. We talk for hours at a time. He is teaching me how to zydeco dance and I'm teaching him about social justice in Guatemala. He makes me laugh and I'm not afraid to sing around him. After seven years of numbness brought on by a terrible relationship, the death of my mother and a bout with clinical depression, I feel alive again and happy and ready to trust and open up my heart. I'm writing again and finally feel like a whole person. I feel calm and giddy at the same time.

There is one problem: He has a girlfriend of almost three years and didn't tell me that until after we had begun dating. Yes, that's a big problem. He has told me that he loves her and will not leave her right now but he is falling in love with me. I am afraid that when the hurt comes, it will numb me for another seven years. I want him in my life. Should I trust my heart and open up and love and deal with the pain later? Or should I trust my women friends who tell me not to have anything to do with a man who is deceiving his girlfriend? It is hard to think of turning my back on this happiness after having been miserable for so long.

Swept Away

Dear Swept,

It's too bad that, underneath all the singing and zydeco and poetry and Cherry Garcia, there is a lie sticking up like a post. He started dating you while he was still with a girlfriend whom he loves. The man is confused, at best, and you need to clarify the situation for him by creating some distance here. Stop sleeping with him, for one thing. If you want to rescue the relationship, you need to ease back to the beginning and rebuild on honest foundations. And he needs to deal with the girlfriend, whom he is still lying to, apparently. You're not going to slip back into seven years of depression -- you already did that, and it's over. You may get angry at him for seducing you so well, but that's different. This man is not the cause of your happiness; he is only the vehicle. He's the actor you choose to play opposite you in scenes that you yourself create out of the lavish abundance of your heart, and if the vehicle crashes, if the actor walks out, you still have that abundance to take elsewhere. You won't crash if he drops you, because you're not a puppet. You can sing anywhere you like.

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