1.20.2006

Back in game ... back on the bench

Happy New Year, three weeks late ...

Last year ended for me being in a relationship for the first time in many years. I ended it this week, but not without feeling pain I have not experienced in a dozen years -- and it is something I do not want to relive anytime soon.

It's not that I did not enjoy her company. Quite the opposite. I enjoyed going out with her, even to do things like window-shop, go to restaurants and the like. She even did things for me that no one has ever done.

Two weeks after we started seeing each other, I went home to New York City for Thanksgiving. She met me at O'Hare and took me and we went to lunch before dropping me off at work.

Last month, she took me to a Christmas concert at Chicago's Symphony Hall. I did not know what to expect, considering I am more Blackhawks and beer than culture and champagne.

It was nice ... I'm not one for ballet and choral singing and the like, but it was just nice ... the atmosphere and all. Performance was not bad either.

For the first time, I spent the holidays and such with her ... as best we could given my hours and her schedule to go home to Wisconsin. She put a lot of thought into gifts for me -- a sweater, dress shirt, a beautiful book from the Chicago Tribune about the city's history.

It was truly one of the nicest gestures someone has ever shown me. Which makes it all the worse that I felt it needed to end.

Not to sound too clinical about it, but I do not like my life micromanaged. For the longest time, I lamented being alone during the holidays and Valentine's Day and such. Having been on the other side so to speak, I think being alone -- and more important -- having the freedom to do what I want, go where I want and answer to myself for the most part -- is not so bad.

Some married friends, who are for lack of a better term "in trouble" have told me how they wish they could have my life. Not everything in it, but the freedom part of it. Now I understand why.

I also should have seen this coming. For example, picking me up at the airport ... a nice gesture? Yes, of course. But at the same time, a little too -- intimate? -- for two people just getting to know each other.

I'll say this about me: I admit being difficult ... I throw myself in my work to such a degree that I do not like getting personal calls there unless there is a medical, family or similar type emergency. I explained this to her, but almost every night, she would call me usually around 10:30 or 11 p.m. I explained to her that this is consistently one of the busiest times of my shift in the newsroom. Still the calls kept coming.

Another thing I learned was about the micromanaging of other's lives. I have been guilty of that without realizing it. I tried to be a part of someone's life and have summarily been ignored. That's OK with me ... live and learn. Took me more than 40 years and this experience to see it.

There were other issues in my case ... issues I don't think need to be spelled out here, something I will do out of respect for her.

So, ultimately, the question needs to be asked -- will I date again? I think in all honesty, I can say that I do not know at this time. What I have learned is that alone time is not horrible.

1 comment:

kansas brat said...

And if we had nothing to desire, nothing to covet, nor anything to challenge us... We would not evolve.

Sorry. But I'm also glad you don't have to worry about as much.