Saturday, April 23, 2011

She Sings

"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her,
still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."
--Victor Hugo

The thing about living in a small town all of your life is that, if you're lucky, you develop friendships that last for decades.  The people who love you, faults and all, are the same people who sat next to you in kindergarten, cried with you over skinned knees, giggled all night about stupid boys, were brave enough to ride with you when you learned to drive a car on gravel roads, visited you in the hospital when your baby was born, and stood next to you at your daddy's grave.  So when one of those girls invites you to lunch and upon arriving at the restaurant you see four more friends, you know something's up.  Something big.
Five of your best friends gathering together to tell you that you shouldn't get married almost exactly four months before your wedding day (when one of them is your maid of honor to boot) is, indeed, something big.  We laughed and we cried, and the words they said rattled around in my brain all week:
He doesn't understand you at all and he has no idea how amazing you are.
The Kelly House is your dream. What kind of man, who claims to love you, demands that you give up on your dream?

Rather than complementing your fire, he dulls your shine. 
Honey, you shouldn't have to work this hard to be a little bit happy...and you're only a little bit happy.

I realized that they're right.  They didn't talk me into anything I hadn't already figured out on my own:  this relationship with AJ is not going to work.  I told him as much the other night, sitting at his kitchen table.  And then the fur babies and I went home to the Kelly House.  Some of my furniture is still at AJ's.  I'm not sure where my work boots are.  The refrigerator is empty except for a jar of mayo and one beer.  I won't have cable and internet until Wednesday at the earliest.  More than that, his family will be terribly disappointed and upset, I expect to have to answer the question "What happened?" at least 50 times before the whole town knows and to endure snickers because I'm calling off another engagement (this is my third in 20 years), and I think when reality sinks in that AJ won't be nearly so reasonable as he was upon first hearing my decision. 

In spite of all that, I am happy...or maybe I'm not quite happy yet, just relieved, but I'm quietly approaching happy again.  I sing.  My family understands and supports me no matter what, I have the best friends anyone could ask for, and I am back where I belong.  Like that little bird, I have wings.


  1. You are the luckiest women in the world to have friends like that.

    I am so sorry you are going through all of this, but I do have to admit - I'm glad you get to keep writing about White Trash Bob :)

  2. Yay! You have common sense, so rare these days.

  3. I just have to say... at my brother's wedding his groomsmen were in the basement of the church holding the door open and begging my brother to make a run for it. He didn't. The marriage lasted three months (she was nutso). In the beginning of any relationship our friends always have better perspective than we do. Good for your friends.

    And yay for me, this means my brother may still have a chance. ;-)

  4. Whew :-)

    And I think you should arrange to meet Christine's brother :-)

  5. Karen Anne... "Whew" was exactly my thought,too.

    Bravo for having friends that felt it was better to risk having you momentarily angry with them than to sit back and watch you be unhappy for months, years, even forever.

    My husband and I discussed your situation. Granted I have never met you in person but I wanted to see what my husband would say. And he said exactly what I thought he would say. "something doesn't sound right. Why is she the one who has to sell everything?"

    A couple of weeks without cable or Internet is worth it in contrast to losing everything.

    So what's the next project??? Floors?

  6. Well, I'm sorry that you had such an unfortunate situation. At least you hadn't sold your house yet. I still make my way past my old house and wonder what it would look like if I was still there. It sure as hell wouldn't have that ugly deck on the front and I wouldn't have painted it that color. (It's had many nice improvements too, btw)

    Well, what's the next project then? Summer's on its way!

  7. I wish I could say I was surprised. I will say that I’m very sorry, but only in that the relationship loss will definitely have some sting for while.
    I’m REALLY glad that you discovered this now, not after the ink had dried on the marriage license and after The Kelly House was gone.

    I didn’t feel that I know you well enough to say that it gave me a bad feeling that this guy would make you choose, but after seeing that you gave him all these options and he wouldn’t budge, I no longer feel that way. If he’s so immovable on this, this that means so much to you, what else might you have to “compromise” (read: cave) on? SO not right!

    Yeah, friends are priceless but especially so in these kinds of situations. Hug them for me …

  8. You have really good friends. That was tough all the way around, but I'm glad you are feeling a peace about this. That says a lot.

  9. Just now catching up. Sorry to read that you've been through such a dilemma. Happy to read that you've made a decision that will be right for you (and that you have such good friends to help you do it).

    That's a lovely quote you chose. Now go spread your wings.

  10. It sounds like he's a "my way or the highway" kind of guy. Men who won't compromise don't need to be married.

    Now if my memory serves me right, you were going to work on your flower gardens this spring. That will make you feel better in a hurry. You'll be back to your self in no time at all.