Sleepless & Single… but not Secret.
Earlier this week, one of my former blog students asked me to write a guest blog for her over at: Southern Sass. Below is my post, but give Southern Sass a visit while you’re at it! Want me to write for you? Send me an email: WittyWriter7@gmail.com
Every six weeks, the Cinemark theatre downstairs from my apartment shows a series of classic movies. The last round included some goodies—Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Groundhog Day—so I bought a pass to see all six flicks.
While my friends joined me for viewings of the first five films, I was on my own for the sixth: Sleepless in Seattle.
I love Sleepless in Seattle. I never got to see it in the theatre, as it debuted in 1993, when I was in third grade. I have always enjoyed seeing movies alone, so I bought myself some chocolate and found a good seat, near the back of the theatre.
If you’ve never seen Sleepless in Seattle, it’s definitely worth a try. Directed and written by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it is ultimately a story about love.
Hanks’ character, Sam, along with his son, Jonah, is trying to move on after his beloved wife passed away. Across the country, Annie (Ryan) is madly in love with her boring fiancé, Walter. During a drive on Christmas Eve, however, Annie hears a radio show where Jonah calls in and explains that all he wants for Christmas is for his dad to find someone. Annie finds herself a little infatuated with the story on the radio…
I won’t give away any spoilers, but you can probably guess the direction of this story. But my story isn’t about chick flick endings.
While I have always loved this movie, watching it there, on a Sunday afternoon, it struck a different chord with me. Watching Annie listen to this radio show, hearing callers and their stories, reminded me of a moment about a year ago.
You see, I’ve got many pleasures—most of them I don’t feel guilty about. One of them is listening to Delilah, the nightly syndicated song request and dedication radio show (with an estimated 8 million listeners).
Each year, she starts playing Christmas music ridiculously early. And two holiday seasons ago, I found myself falling in love, fast. We met at the gym, through mutual friends, had endless conversations—often punctuated by gasps—we just couldn’t believe we had found each other. It was the finest match I’d had until that point.
One Saturday night, he came over to my house to have dinner, drink, and play games. At random, I turned on Delilah, and she was already playing holiday songs.
“I love Christmas music!” he said. “Let’s pretend it’s Christmas!”
“Okay, so, what did you get me?” I joked. “Nothing? Typical!”
We sang along to the carols, and reminisced on our favorite holiday memories. It was perfect.
But there was one imperfection: he was already married. It was most definitely something I wasn’t proud of. I was a secret—a thing I’m used to being when it comes to dating.
Looking back, I never expected him to leave his wife. But he was damn good at dehumanizing her; which in return, made me feel less guilty. And just before the “L” word tumbled out of my mouth, he ended it, and said he wanted to work things out with his wife.
I respected that, but my heart was broken. My brain knew that I deserved better, I deserved a man I could trust, I deserved an entire partner, not half of one (as does his wife).
I needed a shoulder to cry on, so I turned to my best friend, and told her everything—I had kept it all a secret for fear of being judged. But, as good friends do, she did everything but judge me.
It was a year before I really saw or talked to the guy again. And, in case you’re curious, he still says “nothing has changed” when it comes to his marriage and that he wants out.
But this time, I didn’t take the bait. I am still not quite the woman I want to be, but I know I don’t belong in that situation. I hope both of them find what they are looking for. And as for me? The single me is much better than the secret me; I know this, for sure.
“I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?”—Sleepless in Seattle
Posted on February 26, 2014, in The Squeeze and tagged breakup, breakups, dating, Delilah, drinking, ex boyfriends, fighting, heartbreak, Holly A. Phillips, How to Make Lemonade, life, love, single, Sleepless in Seattle, The Bitter Lemon, the other woman, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.