I admire romantics. There aren't many of us left. . . or so I think.
You know how this goes. I sigh --
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Wine is involved. As usual. I sit in my PJs next to a Friend as she sips on a diet soda, her wrinkled hands clinging to it like it's her last. Maybe it is.
We're talking about love. As usual.
Me: "I'm a romantic, but a reluctant one who scares too easy."
She looks up and shoots me a perplexed look.
Friend: "What the hell did you just say?"
I shake my head, half amused and half annoyed. By what, I don't really know.
Friend: "Hmm, okay, let me try to understand since, after all, I am old enough to be your grandmother."
I roll my eyes. This again?
Me: "You're not even 60. Chill."
Friend: "60 in the South is great grandmother status! Anyway, so you mean, like...you can't stand the heat in the kitchen you built?"
Me: "I meant that I'm smooth and really coolio until feelings start to get involved. Then, I become this sensitive, not-so-suave person. I mean, I am still me, but my fears and insecurities grab at my insides."
Friend: "As much as I want to say it gets better with age, it doesn't. I still trip out about my fat ass stomach."
There go my eyes even more.
Me: "Your stomach isn't fat."
Friend: "Yeah it is. Don't lie to me damnit."
We smile at each other. I still disagree, but can't help but laugh. Who isn't insecure about something?
Me: "When I date someone I like, I realize how much work I still have to do. Underneath it all, I'm such a mess. Or, I feel like one at times."
Friend: "Getting older doesn't make that go away either."
Me: "Thanks. But maybe it doesn't have a lot to do with age. Maybe it's all about the love we get as children."
Friend: "Oh God, are we having a childhood discussion? Because I don't feel like crying right now."
I sip on my wine, not wanting to get into mommy and daddy issues either.
Me: "Naw, we aren't. I'm just sayin' that confidence and self-love should be emphasized when we're kids in order to have healthier relationships...maybe."
Friend: "And if it's not then you think no one can be that way?"
Me: "I didn't say all that. I just think that it's harder when we have to learn how to love ourselves as opposed to it being ingrained when we're young."
Friend: "I guess that makes a little sense. My old man didn't hold me at all...was kind of an asshole. Now I practically seek out the love and attention I never got from men."
Silence. I think I hear her heart still breaking.
Me: "I feel you. We all got our thangz is my point. Dating is like peeling onions. You see so may different layers. When I start to shed, I lose the exterior that I feel is safe. But, once they are gone, one by one, I start to get nervous. It's like I get that way to see if the person will like me as I reveal more...even though I know how cool I am."
Friend: "Isn't that crazy how we can be so confident one second and then the opposite the next?"
Me: "Completely. For me, I think it's because there's a lot at risk. My heart being one thing. And, I haven't been in the most loving relationships."
Friend: "Well, that's another can of worms. The baggage and hurt we carry is in all of us. I still think my man is cheating on me whenever he comes home late. That's what being with a liar and man whore for 5 years will do for ya."
Me: "Maybe we give up too fast."
Friend: "True. As much as I get scared, too, I know that the guy who is meant for me will like me no matter what. So, when I get nervous or vulnerable, that's how I keep it together."
Me: "Yeah, I guess that's true. All you can be is yourself."
We hold up our glasses in the air and clink them together. I smile as the wine trickles down my throat. Her words stay in my head. Yes, it's all about being YOU.
Who knows what makes us the way we are...truly.
I just know that we all have a battle going on inside of us. Whether it be with our heart or mind or Soul. And, this isn't a bad thing. Never is it a bad thing.
It doesn't always feel good. And, I can't help but wonder how it impacts us. For some, the past can keep us in a deep depression that we never come out of. For others, it can make us look within and grow in ways we never thought imaginable.
Now me...I'm not perfect. At all. I get nervous and stutter when I like someone. I don't even know where that sweet talkin' woman goes at times, but this is who I am. And, this is what makes me awesome as well.
So, maybe my Friend is right. We just gotta be ourselves, even if that means looking like our extremely imperfect selves.