With a little ‘r’

– Chapter 1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

– Chapter 2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It takes forever to get out.

– Chapter 3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in — it’s a habit. But my eyes are open and I know where I am. It is my fault and I get right out.

– Chapter 4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

– Chapter 5) I walk down another street.

– An Autobiography in five chapters by Portia Nelson
– See Also, Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett

So we meet, the spark ignites, we play, we dance, we make love and everything changes. All of a sudden we’re in (Capital R) Relationship. We’re now girlfriend/boyfriend (or whatever we choose to call it, as you are not a “girl” nor am I a “boy.”)

At the twist of a passage we’ve slipped into completely new roles. I am no longer the hungry bachelor nor you the caretaker without a charge. We are a “Couple” and our well trodden path is clearly defined; injected into our I’s by the notorious tube.

Whether we choose Lucy and Ricky, Fred and Ginger, Fred and Wilma, Homer and Marge, Archie and Edith, or some other iconic pair — we know exactly what to do. We know what the rules are, exactly how to play, and what to expect.

We’ll meet other couples and do the “you and I show” to let them know what flavor of coupleship we’ve chosen. I’ll bring you flowers, you’ll cook me dinner. I’ll buy you jewelry, you’ll clean my house. Eventually, I may bring you a shiny pebble and make a promise that almost nobody ever keeps.

Is it possible to have a (little “r”) relationship so firmly rooted in (big “R”) Reality that it bypasses expectation? Can the fantasy be set aside? What would this kind of relationship be like?

The primary commitment would need to be to “Honesty.” If I lie to you – if I tell you that cards can dance and cats disappear – and you believe me — then I have whisked you off to Wonderland. You are no longer in the same dimension as I and we cannot possibly be together.

Expectations: Expect nothing, Appreciate everything.

Pain: There will times of pain, loneliness, regret, anger, jealousy – this relationship is not an escape from human emotion; just a container.

Forgiveness: Of course we’ll screw up! I’ll forget your birthday and you’ll feel unloved. You’ll rearrange my desk until you think it’s ‘just right’ and I’ll freak out. Forgiveness will hop in it’s two-wheeled hyster-i-cycle and stop by.

The One: Am I, are you, THE ONE?  Perhaps we’re all looking for someone to grow old with. Is that us? Perhaps. Maybe we’ll figure this out after a few years. There’s time. There’s always time, even if it’s just a few endless moments.