I saw a story recently on Sportscenter about former Chicago Bear legend Jim McMahon, who was the starting quarterback of their 1986 Super Bowl champion team. He is now a part of a group of older players who are filing a suit against the NFL regarding their policy on concussions. My own thoughts on the issue of concussions in the NFL notwithstanding, listening to Jim McMahon describe his day-to-day heralds what is to come for me.
When his girlfriend enters the story, I began to wonder when they met and how long have they been together? Were they dating before he began to notice, or she began to notice things going into decline for him? There are reasons that this particular piece of information is important to me but that is for later. The clip is only a minute or so long and most definitely is a storytelling device.
AND IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT IS AT LEAST AN OCEAN WIDE
However you view my relationships, whatever success I claim to have enjoyed through them stem from two things: A willingness to not fear my vulnerability and my ability to harness shame into positive aspects of my personality and not be regarded as a negative or have them seen as a weakness. When I first met Nebraska online, I cannot imagine that it was too long after our first exchange that I told her about my appreciation of full-figured women, how my Mother liked Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald of the Kansas City-Omaha Kings, and of course, how Johnny ‘The Jet’ Rodgers, along with Marlon Perkins and the Doorly Zoo made quite the impression on me. Another link, which was not confirmed until later during or relationship, was that she used to work with a former Husker football player that KT almost got named for!
I was still hung over from Tee Jay and what had developed into my ‘Ex-List’ phase of dating when we begun chatting online. Because I ‘knew’ how I felt about Omaha (for some reason I really want to go and see Kearney… I like the name!!)and if you hadn’t noticed, even online I can be oddly reserved beyond my blog, so I engaged her as only I know how. After sharing my feelings with a co-worker who I felt close to about my attraction to Nebraska, I put her on ‘the list’, which was crucial.
SEIZING THE HIGH GROUND
The ability to be open with who you are and honestly assess what you are capable of is important in determining the outcome of a relationship. At least they are to me and how I deal with being engaged in a relationship with someone. I am not shy when it comes to letting a woman know how I feel about her. With men still being reluctant to share their feelings, I think that is one of adaptations that I made to engage with women. So Nebraska has pretty much known all along I felt about her even with her being preoccupied with someone else and even with her dismissing my affections as over the top. But making myself vulnerable emotionally always felt like the high ground in the battle to be in love. I never understood why it has to be that way, but it does.
I don’t feel that I should be ashamed that I am willing to be attracted and fall for someone as deeply and madly as I do. The past three years has included major alterations to my life for the opportunity to be in love. In fact, the past three relationships that have been involved in were all representative of the kind of profoundly deep and intense emotional love that is often romanticized in movies and yearned for by women all over the country. At least that is what I thought. Who doesn’t want the chance to be with their first true love, or to be with the one person that they know that there is no sacrifice too great to be made on their behalf? Or to have someone tell them that their desire was sent from ‘on high’ and that they are ‘that someone who is that someone’?
…AND HE FELL, STUMBLING BACK AS IF STRUCK BY A GIANT
Nebraska and I have never been ‘a couple’, not even in the misty, wispy way that people become couples and find themselves in love with a person on a computer. Sometimes we have had randy exchanges but if I were going to put a percentage on the amount of conversation that was spent between us about ‘us’ as a couple and those ‘adult materiels’, it would have to be under 1% of our IM dialogues. And that is as LIBERAL an estimate of any NC-17 kind of talk that has taken place between us over the life of our relationship.
Without having any of the leading conversations that is central to many of the ‘internet tragedies’ that I kidded her tongue-in-cheek about going on between us, I examined what we did have between us. And that was my describing how I felt about her, someone I had never met, living in a place that I had never seen, that she was… and that we were…
No, I did not think that it would be like ‘Sleepless In Seattle’ between the two of us, though that story ended with much better standing than our relationship started with. We haven’t had a decent conversation in at least a month. The last time we saw each other in person was the sweet and charming date we had to see ‘The Artist’.
What went wrong between us exactly? I just don’t know, I couldn’t say. Perhaps someone said something wrong… but as to now, there is simply longing for yesterday…