Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When You've Been Apart Too Long, Reality Shifts

After a year of long distance romance, I'm seeing some patterns.

There is the countdown, of course. The beginning of the countdown is dismal. It comes just after one of you makes the trip back home, and the long weeks in between start their merciless, annoying metronome.

I need to admit, right here, that my fiance and I are wimps. Here's why: We get to see one another at least once every 6 weeks. For a full week. Each time I think about how tough it feels to be apart, I remember what my mom and dad went through during WWII. They had to last for up to 10 months apart, with nothing but letters to live on. No phone calls, no flying back and forth while sucking down the in flight cocktails, no 2-dozen emails zipping to and fro between them every day. Just the letters, sometimes delivered late, read and re-read and cherished and frustratingly void of so many things. My parents were not wussies. Still aren't.

In my quest to be half the woman my mother was back then, I make the best of things. I push myself to be grateful. Life is extraordinarily good. Even with my near-violent chocolate cravings, my profoundly lazy students, my inability to financially stabilize, and my default mode of general disdain.

But life does get hinky when we're nearing that 6 weeks apart mark. We've said "I love you" and "I can't wait to see you" so many times on the phone that the words start to grow woefully ineffective. It feels like we're trying to cover a watermelon in thumbtacks just by tossing them onto it. They don't stick. They bounce off and roll back to us, their little points dulled. Like my brain when it's locked inside a body that is 2,000 miles from the body I'm missing.

The fiance put it perfectly months ago: "Our visits are so intense and so amazing and then we have that freakish, undulating shitstorm of hours in between."

The good news: I'm packing.

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