Monday, June 18, 2007

The Best Laid Plans

When WG and I first arrived in the small beach town on Friday evening and sat, somewhat awkwardly, at the mildly uncomfortable booth in the dark Italian restaurant, I wondered if I had made a mistake.

As you know, he's from out of state, and it's taking a while to cover all of the best that California has to offer. This trip to the beach was long in coming but was also "going away together." The other two times we've traveled, there has been some reason. There was his step-sister's wedding in Las Vegas (although he can't quite get the hang of that relationship and keeps referring to her has his sister-in-law) and my trip to Seattle for library stuff. There have been reasons and a set itinerary.

This was just a little road trip we had decided to take together. This was a weekend I had been anticipating throughout one incredibly long, incredibly ridiciulous week.

And now, here we were, staring at each other.

Actually, there was a reason for my awkwardness.

In the car ride down, my great enthusiasm for the trip had dwindled somewhat as he mentioned, as he had when we first met but as he hadn't in several months, that he still wants to go to Australia to try out the winery scene there. I had always kept this at the back of my mind and had even intended on going with him. I just hadn't intended on telling him that until October or November when he actually completes whatever paperwork he needs to complete and lands an internship.

But when he mentioned it. I took a breath, looked at him (though not quite in his eyes, fearing an answer I didn't want to hear) and said, "So, did you want to go to Australia alone?"

His answer was, "If you go with me, we could rent a house, because we certainly wouldn't live in intern housing."

I think that was a positive answer. But I didn't want to talk about it more. I didn't want to force the subject, and so, by Friday evening, I was irritated about the whole thing, thinking about whether he would even really want me there and just feeling frustrated, in general.

By Saturday afternoon, I was almost angry. I had this knot in the center of my chest that made me want to cry. We started a somewhat tense conversation about the whole thing in a restaurant in the quaint little village. He was, not that I minded, oblivious about why I was anxious. I honestly didn't expect him to know, nor could I entirely explain it myself. After lunch, we headed back to the hotel, and we just kept talking for three hours. We talked a bit about Australia (he wants me to come; it had just never occurred to him that my going with him was even a possibility, that I could set aside my job and go like that), and we talked about other, more serious things, like religion and marriage and raising kids.

By the end of the conversation, we were exhausted and promptly fell asleep for three hours, thus altering my vision of our weekend at the beach, but it was a conversation we needed to have and one that continued after our fancy dinner in another cute town fifteen minutes from the hotel.

We're years away from marriage, but we're in a relationship that's leading there, and being able, for the first time, to talk openly about that, makes a huge difference in how I view things.

I don't need all the details. I just needed to know that we were in this, really, for the long haul.

There is a lot we both need to work out, on a personal level, but I think we can handle those things together.

As we drifted off to sleep, late on Saturday night, I told him, "I know you have questions and concerns, especially about the religion stuff, but I just figure that we're going to make it."

He hugged me.

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