I Now Pronounce You

These Freaks Know How to Party

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 30, 2007

I think Spinoza said that…or George Clinton.

At any rate, I went to the DC Bloggers Happy Hour last night and WOW. Just wow. My “It feels like sepuku when I drink so I’m not going to” went RIGHT out the window as I met all kinds of people who I read regularly and tossed back shots and beer (there was nary a green tea to be found and even if there was I probably would have added rum) with a reckless abandon.

What a crew. You don’t even know. I don’t care if you’re reading this in Western Iowa or London, England; your scene’s got nothin’ on the DC Bloggers scene.

It was borderline surreal at times to see someone that I’ve been reading for…well, in some cases over a year and know so much about them but have to say “Hy my name is…” And what can I tell you? These people are the best. They are genuine. They look you in the eye and listen to what you have to say and have no pretension about them. To everyone I met (you and you and you and yeah you, too) last night all I can really say is;

Thanks, I needed that. Having been a bit limited medically and mentally of late, I’ve been laying low. But for last night I was out and about and I let it all go. I wasn’t depressed or “trying”. I was just…me. It felt GREAT to just be me. No worries, no depression….I heard myself laugh and felt myself smile and it fucking rocked.

I’m thinking of a housewarming/thankkgodit’sfinallyspring party in a few weeks when I get settled in to the new place…who’s bringing the SoCo and Lime?

Happy Hour With Fredericke and Y’all.

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 29, 2007

“When you gaze long into the Abyss, the Abyss also gazes into you.”
– Fredericke Neitchze

Yeah yeah…I know. Leading with Nietchze is pretentious as all hell.

When I started writing this blog, I asked someone who I considered the ultimate guide to blogging for advice on the whole thing, and she asked me if I wanted to have readers or not. Since I was really only writing this as a day by day diary of the marriage process for exFiance, I wasn’t sure. On the one hand, the comments would be fun…I figured I’d get hit up with all kinds of hate mail and when she and I went back and read it that it would only add to the enjoyment. On the other hand, there was something to be said for the unread word. That it would be for her and her alone.

I chose to go for having some readers…and then things went a little off book.

But I keep writing because every time I share something with you, no matter how small, stupid, lame, or mundane, I learn something about myself. Both from re-reading it later and from the things that you write back to me. I shared the personal expecting apprehension and I got encouragement. I shared the traumatic expecting ridicule and I got understanding. Whenever I threw something out in to the abyss and expected the abyss to hurl the worst back at me…

I got the best.

Brunch Bird once commented to me that when we post these things it’s like a message in a bottle…and that’s exactly what it was. It’s a brilliant analogy that she made. But when you cork the bottle and fire it in to the void of the ocean you don’t expect to wake up and find “a hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore”. But I guess that’s what we all are…”a hundred billion castaways”.

And tonight, I get to meet a small sampling of the abyss. I give up my anonymity and say hello in the old school analog way.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you at the Happy Hour tonight. If for no other reason than to say “thank you”. And sure, OK…to see who’s cool and who’s not and who’s hot and who’s terrifying and…

Karma’s a Bitch

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 28, 2007

One of the things that I love about baseball is the superstition that inherently comes with any game that tracks every possible statistic that can possibly exist. When you are so steeped in the numbers, you are bound to get a little paranoid. Because everything that you do is tracked, you want to be able to replicate the good and get rid of the bad…you want to make sure that you can somehow, someway, be sure that whatever you did the day you went 3/4 with 4 RBI’s you can by God do again. And there are numbers that can show you the pattern. And the pattern can show you the way…if everything else is the same. Right? Huh?

Players get downright ridiculous about it…they will NOT mess with their karma. Their ju ju. Whatever you want to call it. Whether it’s Nomar’s borderline manic adjustment of his batting glove, Jeter’s one hand raised while digging in to the batters box, or Ichiro’s samurai style batting stance start…you can’t fuck with the rhythm.

Me? I was never superstitious. Not really. I used to do all kinds of things that counted as performances and games, and I never really had a preshow/gig/game ritual…which usually riled up anyone that did. “How can you just SIT THERE?! Aren’t you nervous?!”

Well, sure…but pacing and counting and retying my shoes and all that jazz isn’t going to change it. Chill out.

They never did chill out.

I can still remember Kid Brother, when he finally got old enough to really play basketball with me being absurdly superstitious about it. Once, when I ran off several straight, unanswered points to start a particularly vicious game of one on one (I think we were playing for who had to deal with some chore that had to be done) he stopped, took his ball to the side of the court and swapped it with mine.

“Bad karma”

It only got worse…and now he’s got three daughters. At some point it becomes OCD…I’m pretty sure of that.

However, as I’ve gotten older I have adopted a more…what’s the word…respectful approach to karma. For these purposes, I’m defining karma as:

Function: noun
Etymology: Sanskrit karma fate, work
1 often capitalized : the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence

I think if you live long enough and play close enough attention you can damn sure see some karmic shit in THIS existence. So, much like Earl, of My Name Is fame, I try and do the right thing. I try not to cut people off, I get out of my seat for the elderly or pregnent, and I don’t curse around kids (but that one took a lot of work) and all that jazz.

However, there’s also the karma from the Movie “Major League”…rubbing chicken bones on the bat because it can’t hit a curveball. That objects can have karma…that your soul can leave a residue on something and that “something” retains it and exhibits its characteristics. This is less official “karma” I know.

This one, I hate to say, I totally buy.

The sneakers I blew my knee out in? Trashed…and not at my house. In the dumpster up the street.

The Strat that was given to me by a very wealthy but ragingly psychotic ex-gf years ago? Gave it to the local Jr. High School for an auction.

The car I loved that kept getting hit? Traded in.

I hate admitting this, but it’s true. Objects to me hold far, far more karma than actions. You should just naturally try and be a good person…not for karma’s sake but your own. Even if you suck at it. But objects? Oh hell no I don’t want their bad karma around me.

And this is how I feel about the things in my apartment. ex-fiance and I had a long, but nice conversation this week about what I want to take from our place to the new one. The answer, surprisingly, is damn near nothing. I want to start clean. Hell, I’m moving in on the weekend before opening day!

I don’t want to jinx anything.

Then again…Pavano’s pitching. Maybe it’s already jinxed.


Comfort Zones

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 27, 2007

My first (electric) guitar was a Fender Strat. It was a gorgeous, breathtaking “Standard” that I had absolutely no business buying. I had bought a PoS Washburn acoustic for about $125 to learn on, and broke my figers every day trying to play whatever I had in front of me at the time. (Note: “Blackbird” is a terrible, terrible place to try and START from) But i knew…KNEW that the Strat was for me. I knew the electric was for me. SRV played a beat up sunburst Strat…Eric Clapton played a black one (Blackie, which sold for $960K in 2004…for real) …David Gilmour…Lou Reed…Robbie Robertson…George Harrison played them from time to time…

And Jimi…well, Jimi played it like no one else.


It seemed like everytime I looked up, whoever I was listening to and loving was playing a Strat. I just HAD to have one. I ignored the Gibson players, like my friend Sweet Lou, who wanted that thick sound from AC/DC…and I ignored the legions of Ibanez players who wanted to shred like the hair bands. I knew which way I was heading…and it was right at the Fender.

My first one was a Standard. Not the cheap Korean one…or the slightly nicer (and as we know now, actually AMAZING) Japanese one. I dove right in and bought an American Standard. It cost me $600, with a case. A CASE! It was sunburst, with a rosewood neck.

This was a RIDICULOUS approach for a kid (I was, I believe, about 16 when I bought it) You’re supposed to buy something cheap, beat the hell out of it, learn, then buy something a little nicer…work your way up. I said, screw that, I want THAT ONE. And I scripmed and saved by working at Hopkinton Drug stacking boxes and running the cash register until the proud day that I walked in to EU Wurlitzers in Framingham, MA with Sweet Lou (we drove there in his sky blue Ford Escort) and said not too differently than Wayne “I’m feeling saucy today…”


Since then, I think I’ve owned close to a dozen Fender (and a few knock off) Strats. No lie…a dozen. Near as I can tell. There were others mixed in, but they were not my beloved Fenders. I’ve bought them at pawn shops, garage sales, new and used dealers…I’ve had 2 custom made for me by the Fender Custom Shop. I just LOVE Fender guitars. The other ones were all just…wrong. The felt wrong…they sounded wrong…they didn’t do what I wanted. But the Fender? It never failed. It is what I know. Then I went for a long, long time where I didn’t play anymore and got rid of them all. Some were given away as gifts, some were sold…but they all went away until as I’ve mentioned here before, I decided I wanted to play again.

My new guitar is an Epi “Dot” Hollowbody. I have torn it apart and rebuilt it with some new pickups, a new nut…changed the action…and am loving it right now. It feels NOTHING like what I am used to…where a Strat is sleek and has lines that are often compared to a woman’s curves…the Dot is a brick house. It’s big, and it’s imposing. It dares you to try and play fast. It feels like an acoustic on steroids. It’s heavy, clunky. Where the Strat screams, the Dot kinda moans…it’s throatier, less bell like. The neck is wider and it’s harder to bend. It’s making me do things completely differently than I’m used to…and for my efforts I’m getting completely different tones than I’m used to hearing. And I’m actually kind of diggin’ it.

So here’s to getting out of your comfort zones…whether you choose to get out of them or get knocked out of them, it’s only as good or bad as you make it. And making the most of it is what life is all about. Getting knocked out of your comfort zones is what life is all about. It doesn’t matter where you are from, what you have been through, or where you are headed. You’ve got to make the most of what happens to and around you.

And that’s what I’m trying to do now in all kinds of ways…making the most of it. Because really, the alternative is pointless and just makes you bitter.


Opening Day, Thank God

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 26, 2007

I signed my new lease this weekend…which is good, as the couch thing has gotten old much faster than I would have expected. I’m starting to get my things together…which is odd, since it seems like I just unpacked them. But overall, I’m actually starting to get in to a groove about the whole thing. I’m sure once I’m in the new place that might feel a bit different. We’ll see.

However, it’s all starting to feel much better. Not GOOD. But, better. exFiance and I have been talking, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll remain friends. Hell, close friends even. I see her points and there’s not a lot left to say except “OK”. And, for a guy like me…if this HAS to happen, right before opening day is, I guess, the best possible time. (Christmas, I should think, would be the worst possible time) I can almost hear myself saying “Yes, I’m calling to order the baseball package” now.

So, the lease is signed, the boxes are being packed, and I’m not really sure that there’s all that much to say through this medium anymore. We’ll see. Although I did just get my first (albeit wildly incoherent) hater, and I’d hate to make her have to find someone else to hate on so quickly. (Mets Cardinals Sunday night, BBTY)

At any rate…I don’t want to wallow anymore. I want to get on with it. I’ve got my opening day tix, a workload that is going to just explode when the Gov lets the money flow again, a new niece that should be here in May, and a new guitar that’s still right out of the wrapper. That list will keep me busy, and busy is good.

Carry On Bags Only

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 23, 2007

Last night I met up with this guy, who is a monster ping-pong player and a very hip cat. Turns out the man knows his baseball, too…which in my book is always a sign of a tres cool person. Sadly, he likes the Dodgers, which rates just slightly higher than digging things like oppression, but is not nearly as bad as being a Red Sox fan.

I’m starting to get a clearer picture of just what the hell is going on in my world. I’m getting that there were, indeed, signs, that the relationship apocalypse was coming. And while I didn’t choose to ignore them but rather didn’t put them in to their proper context…well, yeah. There were signs.

I’m also fighting off the urge to get angry…which sounds like a really bad idea, I know. But my hope is to get in to a new place (the last one didn’t work out, but I’ve seen several more since) and THEN get angry. I don’t want to say things that I might regret and lose not only a fiance, but a friend. It is, to say the least, a balancing act. In my head I go back and forth from Jeff Buckley to Ministry these days, but I don’t have to give in to my lowest level impulses.

And speaking of lowest level impulses…

I have now been told several times that I need to get laid. This is just not sound guy advice. As if, somehow, that is going to fix everything…I’m going to get off and get on with my life? I have never understood this line of thinking. I think it’s something that we men tend to tell each other when something like this happens because (1) we aren’t exactly going to open up and say “tell me how you’re feeling” and (2) we have no idea what else to say and (3) how can sex NOT be the answer?

Now, I’m not standing on a high horse here and knockin’ casual sex. Do what you do, I don’t judge. I’m saying that I don’t get the benefit derived from casual sex as a remedy for a broken heart. If anything, it’s going to make it worse. Much worse. You’re going to feel that much more alone after the fact, and it’s going to send you further down the downward spiral…and then the next time you do fall for someone, you’re going to carry that much more baggage with you.

And really, who needs baggage? I’ve got enough I’m trying to handle right now…the last thing I need is to get laid. The first thing I need is an apartment. Preferably one that won’t mind Ministry’s “So What” being blasted while I move.

Donald Fagan is a God -or- Letting It Out

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 21, 2007

As planned I looked at some apartments last night, and found one that might do the trick. It’s on the other side of town from where I am now, and I think that’s a good thing. Ironically enough it is in the same neighborhood that I first lived in when I arrived in DC. The “Full Circle” aspect was oddly comforting.

I then had dinner with Southie (cuz he lived in Southie, Boston…like Good Will Hunting, yo) and his GF Blondie (cuz she’s…well, yeah) last night. Apparently exFiance (Jesus, I looked at that for a good minute after typing it) had called wanting to meet up with Blondie, and she spilled the beans…so, the proverbial cat is now out of the proverbial bag. They chose to come and meet me instead. I loved them for that, but of course I then realized that it’s come to this…people choosing sides. We’ll divvy them up like so many other things. I hate that this is my life, but thank god for friends that have dinner with you and buy you drinks.

Personally, whenever people are dividing things up on the way out the door, I always think of that scene in St Elmo’s Fire; “NO SPRINGSTEEN IS LEAVING THIS HOUSE”.

We went to Bobby Vans (a place I rarely go) and ate, and then it was “let’s have a drink”…because that’s what you do when your friend is in a bad way. And I agreed…knowing I shouldn’t but thinking “this is a good thing…” We had one, then another, and then the questions started coming out. Did you know? How’d she tell you? Are you OK? I winced through some answers and before I knew it, another friend came, and the four of us sat there and joked and laughed and generally just propped me up.

It’s good to have friends.

The long and the short of it is that before I knew it, I was drunk…and it was nice. I wasn’t that weepy “OH GOD WHY ME” drunk. It was more of an appreciative, thankful drunk.

At one point, Southie and I found ourselves outside, where we had the following exchange;

“Ya know what you need, right?”

A new apartment and a stomach that doesn’t suck?

“Ya need to get LAID”…he said the word “LAID” like it was a holy, holy thing. OK, it IS a holy thing.

No, trust me, I don’t.

“No really. Trust me. You need to call what’s her name…”

Who? (I have no idea why I asked)

“That Mexican chick you used to date”

First of all she was Spanish. And secondly, she is completely insane, and that is not going to help.

“I thought she was Mexican….but either way you need to get laid…what about that hot black chick you dated back in the day?”

No, Southie, it’s not happening.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about…let’s get you another drink”

And that’s what we did…another drink. By the time it was all said and done I was, as I said, drunk…and feeling no pain. I jumped in a cab and headed home…the cabbie, god love him, was listening to Steely Dan.

In the mornin you go gunnin’
For the man who stole your water
And you fire till he is done in
But they catch you at the border

I love this song I tell the cabbie. The cabbie smiles and turns it up and I watch DC go by thinking of nothing until the chorus

and you go back, Jack, you do it again

And I think “I feel ya, Fagan…it’s the repitition that kills you…”

And I think about that fucking VK post…trying to unlearn. Just amazing stuff. And I catch myself getting a little overwhelmed and I think “not now…not in a god damned cab”. I don’t know why I don’t want it to come in a cab listening to Steely Dan, but I don’t.

I get home to find that exFiance (Still doesn’t feel natural to type that) is asleep, and I look at her and realize that I’m not wanted in that bed anymore, and my night is going to end on the couch.

And then it comes.

I sit at my desk and the flood comes, and it’s overdue. And it’s overwhelming…it just erupts out of me. I knew it was going to happen, but I was somehow hoping that I could make it until I was out of the apartment before it did….which of course makes me realize that once I am out of the apartment it’s probably going to come AGAIN, and that feels like a boot in the gut.

Get a grip I keep thinking…just get a fucking grip. Which I do…I realize I just can’t face the couch yet, and I log on…and what do I find?

The kindest, most supportive messages I could ever imagine. And of course they get me choked up again…these are people I don’t know. YOU are someone I don’t know…and you’re all being just unbelievable. Because when you want to reach out and there’s no one there, it’s the worst…but when you want to reach out and there are people reaching back for you, it’s just an incredible feeling. There is no other way to describe it, and depressed though I am…it helps.

Thanks to you for your thoughts.

Must I Dream and Always See Your Face

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 20, 2007

I wrote this ridiculously sad and jarringly depressing post called “Jeff Buckley Should Have Learned The Crawl Stroke”…then went back to edit it and realized that there was just no WAY I could spring that on an unsuspecting reader. Trust me, you’re glad.

So this is the best I can do…

It’s over. I am looking for a new apartment, and Fiance shall know be known as Ex-Fiance, and that assumes that I decide to keep writing. I may, I may not. I keep hoping that she’s going to hit the brakes and look at me and say “Wait WAIT…this is wrong, this is crazy”…

But the more I wait, the less indication I get that something like that is coming.

I am going back and forth between wanting to scream, the 1000 Yard Stare, and deep, deep breathing that either helps me keep it together or gets me right back to wanting to scream, depending on where my head is at. I do what all men do when faced with this…which is nothing. I say nothing. I do nothing. I’m fine. FUCKING FINE god damnit.

When we talked last night there were no answers…no excuses. Just mumbled “I’m sorry’s” and a few nonsensical half sentences. After awhile it became obvious that she wanted her life to herself, and I am now Persona Non Grata in her immediate world.

I was proud of myself in retrospect…I didn’t beg (though I wanted to) and I didn’t scream (though it crossed my mind)

I didn’t threaten or make ultimatums…

I didn’t accuse and I didn’t demand…

I realized that I didn’t want to force, con, or cajole someone in to staying with me when they don’t want to…and that it wouldn’t be my girl that was staying with me if I had. It would have been Frankenstein’s Love Monster, stapled to me out of guilt and some warped sense of responsibility…and I don’t want that. I do know that she loves me, and I don’t think that this was easy for her. She’s making a call that I hate based on what is best for her life…and because I love her I have to respect that.

I told her simply, “I think that this is a mistake…but I’ll be out as soon as possible.”

Tonight I’m looking at a new apartment and tomorrow another. I don’t much care right now, so long as it’s not in the middle of nowhere and it’s priced right. I just want the space.

DC Cookie once wrote that she could be happy in losing her significant other because of how good a man he was and how good he was to her. That fact made it easier (but not easy) for her. And that always stuck with me.

It rings true now.

I have never loved more deeply, more truly, or more openly. I have never allowed myself to be as vulnerable, more exposed, or more weak…and none of those are bad things. I have been happier, more secure, and more in touch with myself than I thought possible…and for all of this, I am a better man and a better person. How can I be angry in the face of that? I may want to scream…but I don’t want to scream at her.

I will miss her every day we are not where I believe in my heart we belong. Even if she is standing right in from of me…I will be missing her.

Someone please pass the Patron.

This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die
But it’s over
Just hear this and then i’ll go
You gave me more to live for
More than you’ll ever know

DCBlogs and the Old Man

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 19, 2007

After hanging my head for Saturday and Sunday, I woke today to find that DC Blogs had linked my “Perpetual What-Ifs” post. “Fucking excellent…of all the days, and all the posts” I thought. Normally, this would be taken as a tremendous compliment (and thanks to LMNtal for the nod) and cause me to smile because it would mean more readers making more comments that Fiance and I could share when we looked back on this blog from our honeymoon. (And yes, as of this morning, she is still Fiance)

Today, it meant cruel irony.

But a funny thing happened on my way to self pity and head hanging. I actually re-read that post, which I hadn’t done since spell checking it and hitting “Publish” and thought “aren’t you a hypocritical bastard.” Apparently, if I get freaked out and I think about packing my things in the night and running for it…it’s a post. If Fiance does it, it’s the end of the world.

Funny how that works.

Now granted, there is a huge, glaring, differentiator; I needed a prod, she is thinking about getting out. Which leads me to my old man.

My dad was a drunk who skipped town on my mom when I was 7 and Kid Brother was 2. He hightailed it back to Maine to drink and chip away at the good name my family had made for itself over the last 100 years or so. We wouldn’t see all that much of him, except for the times that we would go to Maine to visit our grandparents OR the occasional, unannounced visits to the suburb of Boston I went to HS in, where he would show up drunk and beligerent at one of my games. (Think that scene in Hoosiers…it was ridiculously similar)

Enough of the bad…

Old Man’s done a remarkable 180 years later. He still drinks but it’s nothing like he used to, and we reached out to each other and have a very close bond now. He’s the fuck up dad turned amazing grandfather, I’m the big city bachelor son, and somehow it works. Ironically enough, when I need advice, it’s him I call. It’s a “do as I say, not as I do” sort of thing, and he’s got a gift for reminding me of things that I have a gift for forgetting. Sometimes it’s homespun redneck wisdom (“You aren’t bulletproof no matter what you drive, where you live, or what your W2 says, so don’t be an asshole”) sometimes it’s general (“Son, no one is as hard on you as you are on yourself”) and sometimes it’s bad (“Keep a slush fund”.)

But he’s always willing to share his thoughts with me and because of our past he’s never, EVER presumptuous enough to think that just because he’s selling, I’m buying.

Old Man has met several of the girlfriends I’ve had in my life, and he disliked them all. He’s been known to say when talking about Kid Brother and I; “My youngest son lived like his old man and should’ve been in jail, but saw the error of his ways and changed…now he’s a good man, a fine husband, and a great father. My oldest son is smarter than I was ever smart enough to even comprehend and I’m proud of him too, but he can’t figure out women to save his life. You put the two of ’em together and they’d run the fuckin’ world”

He called which ones were going to be problems and which ones would wind up hurting me the most…who would drive me crazy and who I should never bring home to my mother. And he’s been right every time. Every. Damn. Time.

However…he LOVES Fiance. Loved her within 10 minutes of meeting her and loved us together. He said it has everything to do with how I am with her and how she is with me, my family and my friends. That she’s respectful without being stuffy is a part of it…and that she makes me happier than “I think I’ve ever seen you” is another.

I called him Sunday and told him the whole story. He said that he was “real, real sorry” and then he laughed.


“Son, you can’t blame a 24 year old woman for being a 24 year old woman. Especially not one like Fiance who’s just as smart as you and has the whole world in front of her. I mean, hell…if I’d put you right where she is when you were 24, do you think you’d have skated right up to the alter?”

Old Man has a point, and it’s a really good one that I can’t believe I didn’t think of. AT ALL. I’ve got 10 years of relationships on her. How can I expect our doubts to be handled in the same way? What I see as a bump in the road TODAY, 10 years ago would have been a tidal wave. Score one for pop.

“And son, if you lose her AND I DON’T THINK YOU WILL..but if you do, you are so much better off than you were before she came along. You take better care of yourself and you’re happier in your own life. Everyone can see that, and you should see it, too. It ain’t all bad”

And that’s another great point for Old Man that I just wasn’t really ready to see. And maybe I WOULDN’T see because of a bruised ego. Worst case scenario is that this doesn’t work out…but I’ve had 3 years of this woman making me in to a better man. I only lose that if I CHOOSE to let it go. To take all of the ways my life (not OUR LIFE, but MY LIFE) has improved since Fiance has come in to it and throw it away because I’m hurt would be insane.

That doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel. It just gives me a better picture of what I’m fighting for and where I stand if it doesn’t work.

Thanks, Pop.


(Old Man and Kid Brother on KB’s wedding day…)

The One You Don’t See Coming

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 18, 2007

My trainer used to say “Be diligent…keep your hands up no matter how in control you are. It’s the punch you don’t see coming that kills you”. Indeed.

I got the punch I didn’t see coming.

“This isn’t working for me” came out of nowhere. It was a clean, head snapping shot that I am still a bit woozy from. Some St Patrick’s Day.

“When you DO get hit, you gotta focus. If you overreact, you’re going to tense up and leave yourself wide open. You’ve got to realize that you’re vulnerable and you’ve got to HOLD ON.”

Get your bruised ego out of the way. You’re going to want to scream. You’re going to want to demand answers. That’s not going to help…it’s going to make it worse. So you talk…you ask questions. “Is this cold feet?” “Did I do something wrong?” And the OHGODPLEASEDON’TLETITBE…”Is there someone else?” (Answer key; I don’t know, no, and no)

I hear everything that she’s saying, and it’s not so different from some of the things I’ve talked about. Some of it is new…

“I’m 24, and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“You’re my best friend, but I don’t know if that’s enough”

I listen. I don’t have answers. I really don’t have questions after a certain point.

“Sometimes it’s better to take a knee, clear your head, and get up again. Catch your breath, focus your eyes on something, and breathe deep. It’s better to go down and get up than it is to start throwing punches wildly, lose focus, overswing, and go down for the count.”

I tell her that I don’t want to lose her, and that whatever it takes I’m willing to do…if that means put the wedding on hold, so be it. Better to go down and get up. The only thing that I say is off the table is splitting up and trying to work it out apart. I don’t even know where that came from. But it came. I won’t separate after 3 years to try and get back to a point where we try again. We already did that, and I guess my thinking is if we’re going to get married, then we should learn to fix these things together. Because we will have bad days…problems…issues in our life. We can’t just cut and run and separate every time we do.

I tell her I love her, that she’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and that we’ll figure this out one way or the other and nothing will change what she means to me. She wants time, and I agree. We aren’t breaking up or splitting up, but we aren’t exactly in a good place.

We agree to give each other some space for the night and talk in the morning.

Of course, it’s St Patrick’s Day…and when all you want is to have a quiet corner to nurse a drink that you shouldn’t have…this is the wrong day.

I get to put my money where my mouth is now…no one said it would be easy.

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