Sunday, September 13, 2009

500 days of summer



I saw this movie this afternoon with my BFF. Her choice, her treat.

The Verdict: Thumbs up. Even though I don't necessarily agree with the resolution of the film. In real life, that is. In the movie, it made perfect sense. I also don't want to be a spoiler or anything, so let's just say that the movie has a satisfying ending, if you believe in love.

The thing is, I'm not sure I do.

I mean, I know I've felt it. For other people. I know what it's like to feel that weak-in-the-knees, can't-stop-thinking-about-him, seriously-contemplating-becoming-a-stalker feeling. I've obsessed, I've been unconditional, and I've done the grown-up thing and moved on after it's obvious that drunk dialing him at 3:00 a.m. isn't going to change his mind about dumping me. Okay, that last part was a joke. To the best of my recollection.

Yesterday a familiar stranger slipped me his phone number along with my change for a twenty whilst I was attempting to buy peaches from him. I've included his note - with the incriminating bits like his name and his full phone number carefully left out of the shot - below.



He sells good peaches, BTW. So keep in mind that, whatever happens, I am loathe to lose my access to the best damn peaches in Middlesex County.

But here's the thing: I hadn't been thinking of him in that way. The romantic way, that is. I've been buying peaches from him for years, not counting the two most recent summers - penultimate to this one - when I was living in Toronto.

And I don't know how to say this without sounding prejudiced, but I'm having some difficulty imagining that me and Mr. Peach Seller would have much to talk about. After we'd discussed the relative merits of freestone versus clingstone varietals, I guess.

Both the phone number and today's movie have got me thinking about what the hell I'm really looking for in a relationship, though. I hadn't really planned on this kind of soul searching this weekend, but I'm figuring I'd better come up with something pretty good before I call this guy and possibly break his heart, so here goes...

I'm not looking for a lover. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy knocking boots, and wouldn't welcome some "vitamin P" with someone who could stand to be with me after the main event had concluded. But I'm not looking for that kind of thing first and foremost. (Second and hindmost, perhaps...)

No, what I'm looking for - after years of not exactly find it - is someone I actually enjoy spending time with when we're clothed. And vice versa, of course. And for me, "spending time with" probably involves conversations that don't always (unlike my last few relationships, for instance - not that I'm bitter or anything) revolve around him, and don't usually ignore most of my favorite things. Like art, and Renaissance music, and my writing. And more-than-cursory investigations of sticky issues like faith and higher calling and social justice. Perhaps you can see why I'm still single.

I'll be straight with you. My life (apart from some nagging consumer debt) is just about perfect right now. I have a beautiful home filled with all the things I love (including two beasts who pour all sorts of furry, cuddly attention on me); I have family and friends and a job that satisfies me deeply. A little more time to write and make art might be nice, and I sure do miss the yoga practice that my recurrent insomnia forces me to sleep in and miss, but all in all, I can't complain.

If I'm going to make room for someone in my life, I don't want it to be a shallow, casual affair. I'm playing for keeps. I want to go the distance with someone who actually has values that align with mine, plus a generous soul, a ready sense of humour, and some staying power. No, not that kind. Wait - yes, that kind, too. Both kinds. What?

The hardest thing for me to do right now, however, is call up Peaches and tell him the truth. My first reaction, believe it or not, was to contemplate telling him I'm a lesbian. Because, you know - it's no insult to him if I like girls. Then I thought about telling him I'm just not interested in a relationship right now. Which is mostly true, except that if the love of my life showed up tomorrow, I would be a liar.

Basically, I guess I just want to be the kind of person who can set boundaries that honour everyone involved. Which is kind of hard, because I'm still not really clear about the whole concept of "boundaries"... but anyhow...

All I know is, I'd better call him before next weekend. When I expect to have run out of peaches.

[Added later: Almost forgot. One of my favorite parts of the movie was after Tom and Summer have sex for the first time, and he line dances with people in the street. Everyone was dressed in blue. Wow, I said to my BFF. It's like "Michelle World."]

[For all of you who don't actually know me: I always wear blue.]

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