Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On My Impending Nuptuals


It seems like I have spent a lifetime chasing women, looking for love but finding only lust. It has really only been since my teenage years, of course, but it feels like longer. I actually got to a point not all that long ago that I resigned myself to being a permanent bachelor.

During my childhood I was not the prettiest kid. I had a large mole on my cheek. I wore glasses. I wore a lot of hand me down clothes from my older brothers and that my Mom got from garage sales. Then when I was in junior high, I lost some weight, had the mole removed and got contact lenses. Suddenly, just in time for high school, I was a lot more attractive. I started learning about girls right away. One of my first dates with a girl was when I was 13 years old. She was 18. I told her I was 16 and she believed me. She drove a Firebird and we went to see Rocky IV. After the date I told her my real age. I never saw her again.

I sowed my wild oats early and often, so to speak. Especially after high school when I moved to California, I was working in a gym and at a night club. I was 18, tan, in the best shape of my life and I was almost literally picking up every single girl I set my sights on. For a short time in my life it seemed like there was literally no woman I could not have. I had women throwing themselves at me every single night at the nightclub I worked at.

I recognized very quickly the transient nature of these good looks that were suddenly making me so popular with women. I recognized that none of the relationships I had then could possibly last. A lot of the women I dated had a particular mold they wanted to try and fit me into in order to make me the "perfect boyfriend". Many of them tried to dress me in certain ways or get me to do my hair in certain ways. Some women wanted me to quit collecting comic books. One wanted me to stop watching sci-fi movies. One particularly beautiful woman told me that I would have to "accept Jesus as my personal savior" (i.e. join her particular sect of Christianity) if I wanted to date her. When I was 20, a girl I dated for a year proposed to me. She was joining the Air Force and wanted to marry me so I could go with her. Although we had a passionate relationship, I found myself reflecting on the fact that she was highly critical and prone to saying mean things without thinking. I realized that I didn't want to spend my life with her. Passion just isn't enough by itself.

I dated around and after I moved back to Michigan I met a girl that I got serious about. We dated for over four years.I planned on marrying her eventually. She seemed sweet and sincere. I could see myself spending the rest of my life with her. But then my mother had a relapse of breast cancer. I spent a year and a half taking my mom to the hospital for her chemotherapy treatments and watching her waste away right before my eyes. She grew so weak and brittle that she fractured a rib rolling over in bed. It took its toll on me. I grew depressed and my girlfriend decided she didn't want to be there for me and she left. That took an even bigger toll on me. I went through an extremely turbulent time where for years, I felt very angry, bitter and cynical. I got through it with a lot of help from my friends, from reading a lot of books and from a daily practice of meditation.

Eventually I met Renea. We met online and the first thing I was drawn to about her was her personality. She has a quirky, silly sense of humor. After a short time we decided to meet in person. The first thing I noticed was her big toothy smile and her excitement. I could tell she was very excited to meet me. Instead of having her questions feel like an interview, like a first date normally does, Renea and I just had a good conversation. We talked about our families, our lives, what we had done up till now, and it was all so casual and so... normal... that after only a couple hours in Renea's company, I felt like I had known her my whole life.

I genuinely love Renea and I can tell she loves me. Not because she buys me some expensive presents, but because of all the little things she does for me. The occasional greeting card for no reason. The heart she draws on the top of a mocha with the chocolate syrup. Cutting large letters out of construction paper to spell "I love Kyle" and putting them up on my office wall. All of these are examples of why I love her but the reason goes deeper.

After meeting Renea, my good friend Kristin observed, "She adores you. Do you know how lucky you are?"

Yes, I do.

That is why I am choosing to stop chasing other women, a practice that comes natural to all men, and that I used to be extremely good at, and I am choosing to marry my life to the one woman whom is both my friend and my lover.

Granted, I haven't chased other women since I met Renea, but legally, the possibility was always there. By marrying her I am choosing to move on to a new chapter of my life.

And I do so gladly.

I look forward to spending the future together.

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