A few months ago, the Boyfriend took me out to dinner. I had "Tater Tatchos", which is apparently a real thing. We sat at the table for a solid two hours. I ate off of his plate, and he ate off of mine. And then we came home and sat in the kitchen and I looked over at him and asked him if I had anything in common with his ex-wife.
Which isn't a loaded question or anything.
You know what I like about The Boyfriend?
1) He doesn't laugh when I order something called Tater Tatchos.
2) He thinks about his answers before he speaks them.
Isn't that kind of great? He doesn't waste words.
Anyway. He mulled it over. I mulled over what exactly had just come out of my non-filtered mouth, and kind of braced myself for whatever was going to come out of his always-honest mouth. His answer was a very democratic (and uncommon for him), "Some things."
It made me laugh.
But then he did something that I also really like about him.
He asked me why I was asking.
Sometimes, it's not the question, you know? Sometimes, it's about the driving force behind the question. And the people that want to hear about why you're even asking? Those are the people to spend your days with.
And then he gave me space to think it through. To let my thoughts come to the surface. And the best part here is that he didn't want to hear my answer. He just wanted me to think about what my answer was. It wasn't a discussion. It wasn't a therapy session. It was just a, "Think about that for a second, and then let's move on, okay?"
Let's move on.
I'm writing down my story and it's all very touchy in a way that I don't really like. Tonight, I sat at the table next to The Boyfriend - and for the love of all that's holy - his name is Craig, you guys - and I kept bouncing my feet and flipping my screen back and forth between writing and messaging BFF Suzy. He was working on his job stuff and I was watching a preview to a movie that I might want to see and I was definitely not writing.
And he told me to stop bouncing my leg.
He called me by his sister's name (which is not the same as being called by his ex-wife's name, thankyouverymuch).
And then he told me that she bounces her feet all the time when she's nervous.
And then I closed my eyes and took a big, giant breath and tried to just ... settle.
Writing your story - telling the truth - it's all messy. But it's still the truth, and as Liz Gilbert said this week so famously, "The truth has legs and it'll always be standing after everything else falls down around it."
No matter what.
The truth stands.
I told him I didn't like it. Didn't like what I was writing and he chuckled over his paperwork. "Did you delete it all?" he asked.
"No." My foot bounced and then I stopped, remembering. "I don't delete things I start." The truth is that I really do like it. It's good writing - a real page turner. It's just too close. Too much.
He looked back down at his paperwork. "Then why are you writing?"
He didn't look back up. Just continued on working.
I closed my computer screen after that. If I don't know why I'm writing the story - if I have no purpose yet -
Then there is no reason to continue.
PS - Here's a recipe for Tater Tachos. You're welcome.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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