Saturday, December 6, 2008

Opening The Vault: Part Eighteen

It's often said that love is in the details and I don’t think there’s a truer example of that than a long-distance relationship.

When there’s thousands of miles between you and your significant other, the small stuff becomes even more important and harder not to sweat -- as I discovered when I dated California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky).

Romance on the brain: During the summer of 1994, I longed for the happiness I felt a few months before, when Sparky took this picture in London.

Despite the distraction of a local romance with vegan brainiac Frank, the geographical constraints separating me from Sparky became more difficult as my feelings for him deepened. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1994...

New York, NY
August 15, 1994

Dear Diary,

Last night, I called Sparky. He politely blew me off so he could have dinner with his best friend Anthony. I was peeved but figured, okay, he’s entitled to be too busy to talk every once in a while.

Tonight, he calls at a rather inopportune moment for ME -- Frank was here. Of course, this time Sparky was oozing sweet nothings, saying I’m “magnificent,” that he loves me and can’t wait til I get to California in a few weeks, etc., etc.

I had a legitimate reason for bringing the conversation to an end and, I must confess, I rather enjoyed it. Still, before our two-minute chat ended, I told Sparky that I really wanted to talk to him before the night was over, and that I planned on being asleep by midnight (about two hours from when we hung up).

So Frank departs and I leave a message on Sparky’s machine. He calls me back as he’s sitting down to dinner with Anthony, then proceeds to tell me how “tight” the week that I am coming is going to be in terms of his work, and that he had to go because he was on his cell. Why did he even bother to call if he was just going to blow me off AGAIN?

I learned several important things from this little episode. First and foremost, I have to keep our relationship in perspective. It cannot be the end all be all, not at this point anyway. Second, I will definitely continue to date other men, specifically, Frank.

I rediscovered the merits of juggling more than one man tonight, when Frank greeted me with a long-stem red rose. While Sparky upset me, Frank was there to put a smile on my face.

Someday, when I’m settled into married life, I will look back on all this co-ed game playing and laugh.

* * *
Though that marital someday hasn’t yet materialized, I am definitely laughing as I recall my dating antics of yesteryear. Back then, it was all about fun and games, and guarding against getting hurt.

I still had to learn that when Cupid’s arrow strikes, trying to maintain the upper hand in a relationship can be a losing battle. Sparky would become the first man to teach me that.

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