Being technologically challenged, it was a thing of beauty when I met someone who could not only debug my hoopty laptop, but was also able to successfully install a webcam. I've always been a bit wary of Skype and it's ilk as the majority of the time that I'm on the phone I'm dressed in pajama pants and my 'Jesus Loves You...But Just As A Friend' T-shirt and eating Wheat Thins and I'm just not sure the world is ready for that. But, since Dylan has moved to North Carolina, Skype is the only way I get to see him these days so I have swallowed my discomfiture and accepted the webcam as a necessary evil.
ME: So, did you all survive Superstorm Sandy?
DYLAN: Meh, we weren't that affected here. Honestly, it didn't really live up to the hype; kinda like P.F. Chang's or the new iPhone.
ME: I think it's the name. I mean, seriously? Who comes up with these? 'Sandy', 'Andrew', 'Katrina'. . .it sounds like a lacrosse team.
DYLAN: Yeah, they need to come up with something more bad ass like 'Tropical Storm Terminator'.
ME: Or 'Hurricane Tupac'. Make it sound like it's gonna tear some shit up, yo.
DYLAN: You're ridiculously gangsta for a 42 year old white girl.
ME: It's a gift.
DYLAN: Man, Skype is kind of trippy. When I was a kid I imagined that someday we'd have phones with screens so you could see the people you're talking to but I always thought it would be more. . .dramatic. Oh, and I totally thought we'd all be zooming around in hovercrafts by now. T.V. jacked up my expectations. Screw you, Jetsons.
ME: Yeah, it's weird to see you and be with you but not be WITH YOU-with you. It's like being single again, but not. . .I mean, I was OK being single; I wasn't actively searching for a man, you just kind of showed up in my parking lot.
DYLAN: Oh yeah, in no way does THAT sound creepy.*
*For the full back story, read here.
ME: Pfft! You know what I mean. I'd pretty much given up on dating when you wandered by. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a straight face while some 40 year old blind date spends two hours regaling you with tales of his drunken escapades at the Sigma Chi house?
ME: Oh! That's not even the best one! That honor goes to the guy who spent the entire meal telling me how much money he made, then whipped out his calculator and divvied up the bill over dessert.
DYLAN: I'm oddly conflicted. A part of me wants to apologize on behalf of my gender, while the other part wants to high-five these guys for making me look like a total rock star.
ME: Babe, these guys make you look like a freaking demi-god. But talking about them makes me all stabby so let's change the subject. . .how's your mom doing?
DYLAN: Doing OK. She's bound and determined to do the whole Thanksgiving spread over here, but. . .we'll see. Thanksgiving and my family? Historically, not awesome.
ME: How so?
DYLAN: Well, there was the Thanksgiving of 1978 when my grandfather got hammered and walked through the neighbor's back fence. . .literally. . .THROUGH the fence. Then of course there was Thanksgiving, 1982 when my father decided that a cozy holiday gathering was the perfect time to announce that he was moving out to live with his pregnant girlfriend.
ME: Holy shit.
DYLAN: Holy shit, indeed. Of course, that was nothing compared to Thanksgiving, 1989 when my mother proceeded to regale my date and our entire extended family with stories of how I used to like to wear her clothes when I was little as I sat there wanting to shove my head in the oven.
ME: Cross-dressing, huh? Should I be worried?
DYLAN: Nah, I grew out of it. For the record, I look great in culottes.
ME: Duly noted. I have to say, so far you haven't given Thanksgiving too bad a rap.
DYLAN: Oh, that's just the warm-up act, the headliners didn't hit the stage until the 90's.
DYLAN: Thanksgiving. 1992. Brian attempts to light a joint on the gas burner and singes off his eyebrows. Thanksgiving. 1996. Brian attempts to deep-fry the turkey and winds up at the emergency room with second degree burns on his arms. Thanksgiving. 1998. Brian attempts to carve the turkey and winds up back at the emergency room to get seven stitches in his hand.
ME: OK, this sounds like less of a "Thanksgiving" thing and more of a "your brother is an idiot" thing.
DYLAN: Valid point, but bear with me. Thanksgiving, 2002. In a random act of senseless violence, my mother decides to do a "vegan Thanksgiving".
ME: Wait. . .is that even legal?
DYLAN: I know, right? There was a lot of Earth Balance margarine involved. . .and something called a Tofurkey. . .I've repressed most of the memories.
DYLAN: And then there was Thanksgiving of 2003; I was going to break up with Rachel that night when she informed me that the crescent rolls weren't the only 'buns in the oven'.
ME: Oops! But at least you got an amazing daughter out of it, so it wasn't ALL bad.
DYLAN: Very true, but it was Thanksgiving of 2006 when Rachel also informed me that she and my best friend Rob had been bumping uglies for a year and we split up. So you can see how Turkey Day is not the most festive of holidays for me.
ME: But, again, bright side: if you hadn't split up you never would have left the accounting firm to be a firefighter, you never would have had the freedom to start your construction business, and you never would have stalked me in the parking lot.
DYLAN: Hey, I was working! You're the one who came slinking over to the truck trawling for firemen.
ME: There were guys running around in hazmat suits! I was simply being a concerned citizen and inquiring as to the safety of my coworkers.
DYLAN: So why didn't you ask the guy from geological services who was next to your door answering questions?
ME: He wasn't hot.
DYLAN: I'm both flattered and disturbed by you now.
ME: Yeah, I get that a lot. But I just came and talked to you. . .YOU'RE the one who asked ME out.
DYLAN: You quoted 'Hotel California' and referenced George Romero films. I was intrigued.
ME: And now?
DYLAN: Still intrigued. Few people in this world surprise me.
ME: And I do?
DYLAN: Surprise. . .shock. . .confuse. . .maybe all of the above.
ME: Ummm, thank you?
DYLAN: Trust me, 'shock' and 'confuse' are good things. I like a challenge.
ME: I am nothing if not challenging, my friend. So, any luck finding a place?
DYLAN: Not yet. Made a few offers but they're getting shot down faster than a straight man at an Indigo Girls concert.
ME: Wait. . .wha-what was that?
DYLAN: What do you mean?
ME: You. . .you just made a pop culture analogy. I feel like the Miracle Worker. Yes, Helen! Water! WATER!!! That was fucking beautiful.
DYLAN: You have taught me well, Obi-Wan.
ME: I am so proud, I could kiss you.
DYLAN: I'd be OK with that. I miss kissing you.
ME: I miss weird things. Like that creepy purring noise you make when you sleep and the way you pop your thumb in and out of the socket when you're distracted.
DYLAN: You hate that thumb-popping thing.
ME: It makes me want to slam your hand in a Black and Decker work vise. . .but I still miss it.
DYLAN: I miss you waking me up at 3:00 am to go out for pancakes.
ME: I miss you giving me crap about my shitty taste in music.
DYLAN: I miss your shitty music.
DYLAN: No, not really. But I do miss arguing with you about the merits of Nicki Minaj and Jason Derulo.
ME: I miss the way your hair smells.
DYLAN: Well, if you'd like, I can always FedEx you some. At the rate it's falling out these days I'll look like Doctor Evil by Christmas.
ME: It's probably just stress.
DYLAN: Probably. But, hey! I can always get one of those cool hairpieces like my buddy John.
ME: Jesus, please don't. That is the worst toupee I've ever seen. That rug couldn't be more obvious if Aladdin rode in on it.
DYLAN: I miss your random analogies.
ME: I miss that little 'happy noise' you make when you eat.
DYLAN: I miss the way you bust out and start doing the Dougie in the middle of Target.
ME: Hey! They were playing David Guetta! I'm not made of stone, you know.
DYLAN: Well, I guess Gloria Estefan was right. Eventually, the rhythm IS gonna get you.
ME: I love you.
DYLAN: I know.
ME: . . .
ME: Wait. . .did you just Solo me?
ME: You did! You totally Han Solo'd me! Well played.
DYLAN: You are no match for me, Young Jedi.
ME: I'm becoming increasingly aware of that fact. It must be time to step up my game. . .be very afraid.
DYLAN: Suddenly I feel a lot better about being 3000 miles away.
ME: As well you should.
DYLAN: Oh, and for the record: I love you too.
ME: I know.
While having Dylan now living 2765.8 miles away (not 3000...Pfft! He's a slave to hyperbole) is hardly ideal, I'm oddly OK with it. I miss him, but I'm not incomplete without him, because the bottom line is that no one can "complete" you if you aren't a whole person to begin with. Looking to a man for completion and absolution is like masturbation; sure it may seem fun and spontaneous at first, but in the end it's up to you to achieve the desired result. Trust me, you're better off spending that time and energy looking at yourself and figuring out how to handle your own shit instead of expecting someone else to go all "white knight" and swoop in to handle it for you.
People keep asking why I don't just pack up and move across the country to be with Dylan. All that would be well and good if I were a childless 24 year old working part-time at Starbucks, but I am a 42 year old mother of two with a living will and a 401K. My family is here. My support system is here. And for the first time since my divorce, the short people are settled and comfortably established in our little corner of P-Town; to take that all away from them would be selfish and cruel. When it comes right down to it, my decisions must be made with my head and not my heart (or any other pesky little parts of my anatomy). Sometimes being a responsible adult sucks. . .OK, the MAJORITY of the time being a responsible adult sucks, but somebody's gotta lean into the strike zone and take one for the team. Maybe things will work out for Dylan and me. . .and maybe they won't. But no matter what happens, I will always love him for teaching me to open my heart and trust again.
But I still think he's wrong about Nicki Minaj.