Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Last Time I Saw Paris

I began this entry last April.

The last time I saw Paris I was in Vegas.

T, my ex-boyfriend, TheBoy, the only man I've had what might be considered a "normal" adult dating relationship with (and which failed spectacularly) had this to say to me this morning over IM:

T: I read your Paris in April entry.

me: Ah.

T: ...I had to laugh to myself after reading that entry, because it occurred to me that I'm not a "trip to Paris" guy. I'm a "trip to Vegas" guy.

* * * *

I am not sure what it was about dating him that made me so crazy. Or that made it such a memorable experience. We were together for a total of about 8 months, and I was pretty infatuated -- certainly more so than he was. At the same time, it is inarguable that we were not a good couple.

Sometimes I wonder if my relationship with him stands out in my memory because the whole thing was so...transient.

Why do you date as a grown-up if you know there's no "real" future with the person you're dating? If you're a thirtysomething woman and you're seeing a guy and you know -- know -- that he will not be the man you marry, are you wasting your time with him? Is there a reason to keep seeing each other?

Probably not. But you do it anyway.

I found myself justifying my relationship with him all the time, in one of two ways. First, I would try and ignore the voice in my head (and heart) that told me we would not end up together. I told myself what every woman has told herself about a guy at one point or another (and probably more than once): Sure, he says that NOW. But things could change. This could change. He could change.

Mmm.

The second way was maybe a little more realistic (if just as useless), and would alleviate my frustration in the short-term: But if he loves me and I love him and we enjoy each other's company, why would we break up? That doesn't make any sense!

So I dated him as long as I could before our relationship buckled under the pressure of my always wanting it to be something more. He eventually broke up with me, matter-of-factly, smartly, for reasons that I could have foreseen on our second date.

That didn't make it any less painful at the time. But is probably part of why we're such good friends now.

* * * *

He'd splurged, and surprised me, and got us a suite on the concierge floor of the Venetian for a couple nights. I'd gotten new clothes, new shoes for the occasion. I left right from work on Friday night and spent the whole day watching the clock. When we arrived at the hotel the girl at the desk asked what the special occasion was, with us staying in such a nice room and he'd replied, "first date." It wasn't, but it was a funny response. While we were there, we did Vegasy things. We drank a pitcher of margaritas at 2 in the afternoon for no reason and had an amazing dinner at Craftsteak. We wandered around for hours enjoying people-watching, a bit of gambling, fancy cocktails, some Vegas-worthy ensuite canoodling, and a lot of laughs. We went to bed at 6 in the morning.

And then at dinner on our second night I burst out crying, right there at the table. Because we were having such a great time, and I didn't want it to be what it was. I wanted it to be the start of something big, not something that had already achieved all it ever would.

I didn't get it, or at least I didn't want to. I had found someone I had a great time with...and so doesn't that mean you stay together? You date and you love and then you settle down and have kids and a mortgage and dogs and sure, sometimes, maybe you go to Vegas.

Right?

Well, yes. If that's what he is about. But T wasn't about that. He was Vegas guy.

And you don't marry Vegas guy. You go to Vegas with Vegas guy.

And then you come home.

7 comments:

  1. I like coming here. Great story and perspective. And how cool to be friends after.

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  2. That is so very true and you said it perfectly.

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  3. Sweet Lord that's a gorgeous post. This might be one of my favorite things that you've ever written, K.

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  4. I used to be the Paris guy. Now I'm the Vegas guy (even though I dislike Vegas).

    I don't see why dating has to end with a mortgage and kids. Talk about the air-conditioned nightmare. Why can't dating be about enjoying the company of another person, learning about him or her, and learning about yourself?

    But then again, I'm a ruined romantic. These days, I think marriage is only necessary for the health insurance, and you don't even need it for that some places.

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  5. Hi, T here.

    I just want to clarify something. I wasn't a Paris guy for Kristy, but I believe I'm a Paris guy for someone out there.

    Being in my 30s, I see that it's much easier for men than women to have Vegas relationships. Not to mention that it's easier to have Vegas relationships when you don't want children, like me. I don't have a shrinking timeline looking at me square in the face or a biological clock breathing down my neck (Sorry, I wasn’t sure which metaphors to mix). But not being under that pressure gives me the freedom from worrying about whether a date is a Vegas or a Paris gal. They are who they are.

    It’s also my experience that having most of the women in my dating pool facing a biological reality makes it harder to find a Paris relationship, but I do sincerely want to be a Paris guy for someone out there.

    Still a romantic here.

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  6. What's sadder is when you don't even get to go to vegas with your Vegas Guy. I live in SoCal and my Vegas Guy never took me to vegas. You articulated my relationship. Ouch and thanks.

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  7. What a nice story!I'm happy for both of you because you're still friends after the said breakup. It's so sad to end up a relationship specially when you really love your man yet he's giving up unto you. Well though it hurts you still have to move and find someone better:)
    Godbless to you K.

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