Sunday, September 10, 2006

The bracelet

About a month into dating, I invited Tim to attend my company picnic with me. We had fun eating ice cream and playing various mini-carnival games for a few hours.

Towards the end, we spent a little time at the craft tables meant more for the kids. I made myself a flower lei using pieces of cloth flower petals and cut straws. Along side the lei materials was other bracelet crafts. Tim made himself busy with something. At the end, he presented me with a bracelet he created. He had picked through the wells of beads to find all the beads with smiley faces. Between each bead he had carefully chosen words that described what was on his mind. He told me he had searched for "smile" but was unable to find it.

"I love your crazy beautiful cute bright funny laugh"

I can't tell you how much that little bracelet means to me. It is the sweetest expression of affection anyone has ever given me. While we dated, I had it pinned up in my cubicle. Now I keep it in the desk drawer. I see it whenever I reach for a clip or post-it note. It makes me feel good to have it.

I remember this as I read through the handful of entries I wrote during the time Tim and I dated. This time, two years ago, we were having a blast in Vegas and hiking in Zion. I took him to the city for his birthday. All the fun memories put a huge smile on my face. My worries and his reaction to the break up make me cry. Everything I said was in complete honesty, as much as I hated the conflict I felt.

I had forgotten how intense Tim was about me. He was thinking ahead pretty far in my opinion. Maybe that freaked me out given my reservations about relationship, in general, at that point in my life. He asked a lot of very serious questions at the time. How come it didn't freak me out more? Now, I wish I could have this kind of conversation with every guy I date. Well, not on a first date necessarily, but within the first month. Yes, it would take some of the fun out of it, but it would also save so much time and spare me so much confusion.

[sigh] I cried reading many of the old entries. He was so loving and excited about our relationship. We really enjoyed our time together. Of course, now that so much time has passed, I can't recall how strong my concerns were. I question whether the fears I have about the two of us are well-founded. Are they deal breakers or differences that we could work out if we tried or that I could live with? Am I only thinking this way because I want so much to be married and done with dating?

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