To my dear future husband… I’m sorry
I have no idea who you are, what you do, what your name is or what you look like. I don’t know the circumstances of our meeting, who approached whom or what attracted us to each other. Was it a look, a smile, a word, or just plain instinct? I don’t know if we will even like each other at the start; will we be an instant chemical reaction or a slow burn?
What I do know is that I need to apologise in advance for a few things. These things will explain why I am the way I am and why I do what I do. This post will help you understand my motivations and drivers and flaws – and will hopefully help you prevail and persevere in the face of my occasional difficulty but frequent awesomeness.
So here goes.
I’m sorry that I won’t make things easy for you when we meet. You are going to have to do some serious work to get past the razor wire, glass shards, land mines and vicious guard dogs that protect the precious and fragile real estate that is my heart. I have met too many fucktards and/or twats to give you the benefit of the doubt and just let you in. My position is to assume you too are a fucktard and/or twat, and it’s up to you to prove to me how awesome you are and why I should let you past the razor wire, glass shards, land mines and vicious guard dogs that protect the precious and fragile real estate that is my heart. I’m sorry the fucktards and/or twats have made life difficult for you. You don’t deserve this, and unfortunately you are the one who pays the price for all their fucktardedry and twatiness. It’s not fair, but that’s just how it is.
I’m sorry that I will be a right royal pain in the arse while we are getting to know each other. I will be demanding and exacting and particular. I will scrutinise you and test you and watch you. I will be making sure your actions match your words, that you are pure and honest in your intentions, and that you have no agenda other than the respect and care of me. I will be a right royal pain in the arse while we are getting to know each other because I am too old and cynical to emotionally invest in deals that seem to good to be true. And there have been a lot of deals that have been crossed my path that have turned out to be too good to be true: dodgy at best, emotionally manipulative at worst. I am – or have been – a trusting soul. This has not done me any favours in the quest for romantic attachments, so I have had to learn to pull back and verify claims of authenticity so that inauthenticity doesn’t bite me in the arse. Or rather, heart.
I am sorry that I won’t be anything else other than me. I am equal parts introverted and extroverted, cynical and sensitive, hard and soft, intellectual and superficial, tactless and diplomatic, secure and vulnerable, ambitious and nonchalant, hilarious and serious. You get the picture. I am a puzzling bundle of contradictions and complexities that even I, in middle age, am still getting to know and understand. You will be bamboozled and discombobulated and enchanted by how nonsensical and irrational and sane I am. But stick with me babe, because you will have the ride of your life. You will experience the delicious unpredictability of a work in progress; I’m always analysing and thinking and trying to make sense of my life in a personal and universal context of reinvention. You will join my quest for deeper understanding. I can’t promise that your journey with me will be easy, but what I can promise you is a joyful trek of discovery along the scenic route of my life.
I’m sorry that we have only limited time together. That is the price we have paid for finding each other at this time of our lives. We haven’t been able to discover who we are as teenagers; none of that urgent fumbling with zippers and buttons and hooks in the back of a car as we learn about sex. We won’t have children together either, as we probably would have if we met in our 20s or 30s; no happy days spent celebrating their academic victories or sleepless nights worrying about a high temperature or how to help our children develop resilience in the face of vicious schoolyard bullies. We won’t be watching our children discover their own lives as we slide into our 40s together; no agonising with them over university entrance and career choices and their own broken hearts. Instead, as we skirt around middle age, we arrive at each other with families mostly fully formed, children more or less grown, ready to embark on their own adventures. Our working life is mostly stable, and we yearn for less time at work and more time spent on meaningful activities. We may be softer around the middle, but we are honed sharp by life experiences. We focus on clearing a space around us to travel, to talk, to laugh, to share, to be. I know and you know that time is not on our side, and for that I am so very, very sorry.
But more than anything else, my dear future husband, more than all the other sorries that I’m sorry for, I am sorry if we never meet. I am sorry that we may go through this life never truly knowing or feeling the exquisiteness of our unique connection and experience the deliciousness of our intertwining. We will live rich, full and rewarding lives, filled with people who love us, yet there will always be the occasional twingey realisation, like a note sung sharp or lyrics not quite heard, that something is not quite right, something is askew, something is missing. I am sorry if the time I have wasted on unworthy fucktards and/or twats means that I have somehow missed meeting you. I am so, so sorry if that is the case.
So very, very sorry.