Today, my work laptop up and broke down. Apparantly, it couldn't take another minute of my purple prose.
The good news is, it's currently being revived. And the better news is, not a word of that purple prose has been lost. It's all being retrieved, and that's a good thing, because the past three weeks of changes I've made to my 350-page manuscript is found on that computer, and nowhere else. It would have been horrible to recreate all that I've done this month.
The upshoot is that aside from sending out holiday cards to reporters, it was sort of hard to get much else done today. Which gave me some free time, while Corb was driving home from work, and before the kids came over. Of course, being the hard-working person I am, and without work or novel to distract me, I used the time constructively. And so, rather than build an addition to the apartment or anything crazy, I did what any red-blood American male would do:
I spent some time looking through a folder of emails from old boyfriends.
I tell you, that period of time between Josie and Corb was such a ripe period. And by ripe, of course, I mean, squishy, rotting, and just plain stinky.
Those old emails tell all you'd need to know.
Take the potential suitor who sent me an email apologizing for cancelling a date because "I feel that if we meet this weekend, I would not be able to give you my full attention which you
Why was that? Well, read on, read on. It turns out that the week-end before he "went up the wrong way on the highway and hit someone head-on. I was drinking so it is even worst - the guy suffered extensive bone damage but he is alive and will be OK in a while." He ended the email by asking me to "e-mail me back tell me more about your work, kids, and sexual fantasies."
Gee...work, kids and sexual fantasties, all in one email. Next!
Or how about the guy who wrote: "I want to be totally upfront and honest in letting you know that you don't seem like my type... physically. But from our emails, I would imagine that we would have some very interesting conversation. So, here's another thought provoking question: how important do you think physical attraction is in a relationship and why?"
Here's a thought-provoking answer: Neeeeeext!
Ah, scrolling through, a bit more. There was this one guy, Neal, who was nice enough. We had a few perfectly decent dates, and seemed to have a few things in common: he had been married and even had a child, whom he seemed to adore. Only problem was, well...
He was crazy as a bedbug.
Plus, there was the issue of communication. Here are the sorts of emails I would get from him:
"we really need to talk ive been thinking all day im going to try to get home b4 sunday youve been in my brain i think im doing the wrong thing bye getting with back with my x im going to have a long talk with him when he gets home i really like you ted i can see my self very happy with him i dont really see a future i have no fucking clue lol needed to get this off my chest please respond"
Can you imagine me being with someone like him? I think I would have gone insane.
Then there were guys who communicated just a bit too much. Take, for example, this boy from Boston I met, who considered himself a poet. I would get long, circular emails that seemed to spiral in different directions forever. Every day, I'd get prose like this:
I COULD KICK MY SELF FOR INDULGIN' IN THIS "FANTASY",
BUT YOU HAVE WEAVED YOURSELF INTO MY "REALITY"
I COULD KICK MYSELF FOR INDULGING YOU,
AND LEAVING ME WET LIKE THE MORNIN' DEW!
BUT I COULD KISS YOU STINGIN' ME BACK TO LIFE,
AND FOR NOT WANTING TO CUT MY HEART OUT WITH A KNIFE.
It was actually charming in a way. I mean, everyone likes having poems written about themselves. Even if they were all in caps, which made me feel like he was shouting at me the entire time, all the way from Boston. Every time I read them, I imagined a hip hop beat as backdrop.
I suspect they were just a bit too dramatic for what I'm looking for in a man, which is why Hip Hop Man didn't last more than one date. I think that Josie was disappointed, though. She actually had taken the time to write his name and phone number in her address book, in permanant ink. I'm not quite sure what she was thinking would come out of that date...
Around the time I was reading a few emails from Hop Hop Man, I received a call on my cell. From Corb.
"What's up, hun?" I asked, pushing the laptop aside.
"I'm just on my way to pick up the kids, but stopped at Target to buy a few presents from the kids to Josie," he said.
My heart grew soft inside. Now THAT's the kind of man I want in my life. Someone who's thoughtful and caring. Someone that I actually can grow with. And have.
Someone who's not going to get drunk and mow down a person head on, and who finds me as physically attractive as I find him. Someone who's got a level head, and someone who's not going to fill my email box with capped crap seven days a week...but is going simply be there to love me, 24/7.
As Christmas nears, I find myself increasingly aware of...and grateful for...the love that's grown between Corb and me. These past five years, we've built a world together, a world that I truly adore. Our house feels so comfortable, so safe, and so, so solid.
Somehow, Corb's been strong enough to incorporate whole pieces of my old life into the new fabric that we've crafted together. There aren't many men that can handle that as well as Corb has, but somehow, I managed to find a one in a million kind of guy.
Looking back on those emails made me acutely aware of how lucky I truly am to have found Corb, and managed to keep him, and keep him forever. Perhaps that's why I retain those silly notes from the past; why I don't simply delete them.
They keep me humble, I think. And they provide me with glimpses of potential Christmases that would have been far, far less fulfilling than the ones that I've been privileged to have in my life these past five years.