Thursday, October 1, 2009

Today My Past, Present, and Future Flashed Before My Eyes

The phone rang.

On the other end was a voice I've heard so many times before. It's been some time since I've talked to that voice, but there were many years when it would be the first and last voice I heard each day.

I didn't know why she was calling me. I guess I didn't care. She was a part of my life I had left behind, nothing more than a fond memory of a more innocent time. We talked for a little bit, just like old times. We always could talk to each other. We were always better friends than relationship partners. Even during the worst times of our relationship, we still had that bond of friendship. It might be more distant since we haven't spoken in quite some time, but it's still there.

After about ten minutes of chatting about some random things, she paused for a moment. The next words out of her mouth would have scared me to death eight years ago.

"Mike... I'm pregnant."

During our time together, those words were quite literally the worst thing she could have ever said to me. We were barely out of our teens and still in college. Neither of us had a dime to our names. An unplanned pregnancy would have altered our lives forever.

She's 28 now. She's been living with her boyfriend for over a year. He's a big city lawyer and makes probably close to twice as much money as I do. The pregnancy wasn't planned, but seeing as they're both adults and financially stable, it's not like the timing was bad.

I heard those words, and I was hit with a wave of emotions like I've never felt before. I was happy, proud, sad, nervous, and scared all at the same time. I congratulated her, and we talked about the whole thing. We spent nearly an hour on the phone just talking and laughing and speculating about her unborn child. It was a good conversation... Really nice.

I hung up the phone, and I couldn't stop smiling for a while. I was happy for her. Overjoyed actually. She's an incredible person, and she's gone through so much in her life. She's one of those women that were just born to be a mommy. She loves kids and loves caring for people. For the last few years, she had been struggling with physical and emotional problems (that she attributes to our breakup). To hear that she finally got her life together and was going to have a baby made me really happy.

Happiness was the predominant emotion, but there was some sadness and regret not to far from the surface. When we were together, we often talked about "our kids." I wanted a girl. For one, the idea of having "daddy's little girl" really appealed to me. Secondly, since my girlfriend was so small (and I'm not exactly a big guy either), I knew whatever children we had together would grow up to be small. It's easier for a girl to be short than it is for a guy. Short, petite girls are cute. Short guys... not so much.

Back then, I always thought that whenever she finally did say the words, "I'm pregnant," I'd be the first one to hear. I'd be the one there to hug her and hold her. I'd be the proud and happy father-to-be. I'd get to tell all my friends "we're having a baby!" I'd get to go to the ultrasound appointments and take care of her.

As I type this, I'm holding back tears. Not because I wish she was still with me and having my baby, but because it's a moment I may never get to share with someone. I may never get that moment of pure joy that you get when you first learn that the woman you love more than life itself is having a baby with you.

Occasionally, I've written about how I don't really know what I want out of my life. I've said that I'm not even sure if I ever want to be in a relationship. Well, times like today remind me of who I really am... Who I'll always be.

I'm that proud father kind of guy. I want to teach my son how to throw a baseball and shoot a basketball. I want to bring my daughter to her dance recital. I want to help my kids with their homework, watch their baseball games, see their faces as they unwrap gifts on Christmas.

There are so many dead beat dads out there. So many guys that don't deserve to have children, but they have several from several different women. Then there's me... Someone with all the traits you'd look for in a good dad, but there's a good chance I'll never be one. And it'll be such a waste.

Every day I look in the mirror and I see an image I hardly recognize anymore. The hair is getting greyer, and the hairline isn't where it was when I was 18. The fine lines, wrinkles, and saggier skin remind me that I'm not young anymore. I don't feel any different than when I was 18, but people sure don't look at me the same way. I regularly get referred to as "sir." No one cards me when buying alcohol. Why would they? I'm nearly 30 years old.

I'm nearly 30, and I'm still alone. I've had one real relationship in my life, and that one ended 4 years ago. As the years go by, instead of becoming more refined and sophisticated, I've become simpler. I'll never wow a girl. I'll never sweep someone off her feet. I'm boring. The only way I'm getting a girl is through pure dumb luck.

For now, I sit in this barren room in my newly renovated condo and type my thoughts out to strangers because there's no one else I can talk to. I'm still happy for my ex, which goes to show that I really don't have romantic feelings for her anymore. I just hope one day I'll get to share that moment with someone, even though I know that the chances of that happening keep getting smaller and smaller.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike, "nearly 30" is way too early to give up hope! Remember that most people find love when they least expect it. Just keep your mind and heart open. A post like this just shows that you are worthy of love and someone will be lucky to find you and it will be worth the wait.

Anon said...

I could have written this entry. It's very saddening. Whilst I dislike when people use the phrase, "I know how you feel", I can relate. I wish you the best, Mike because you are a genuinely good man.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Though this is such a beautiful piece of writing written flowingly possibly while still 'under the influence', capturing a sense of emotion, a heartfelt, reflective, and honest rendition, please, do not despair that there is something elusive, something tantalizing beyond reach. Imagining for the best takes the brunt of providing the reality.

This kind of memory is one also to cherish some time down the road, when Jacques Brel seems far away foreign.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

The only way I'm getting a girl is through pure dumb luck. -- or maybe if you'll just take a chance. Best of luck to you, I for one would love to meet you

RxIntern said...

Hey, I just fell upon your blog from another pharmacy blog, but felt compelled to leave a comment.
Don't be discouraged. My fiance probably felt the same way as you at one time, he's 34 and I'm 22 (really not as bad as it sounds). He hadn't even had a long relationship in his life before me, so believe me anything is possible. Plus you're not even 30 and a pharmacist, you're a catch!
And don't worry about the short thing, we're both under 5'5 and it's really not a big deal.
Cheer up, you still have plenty of time!

evilchainrph said...

Hi Mike,

I felt compelled to write to you after reading your post. Needless to say, I know how you feel (yeah, I hate that phrase too). I am an almost 30-year-old (female) pharmacist who is also alone. I am surrounded by people who are happy in their relationships, and even though I am very happy for them, I am also jealous, since they have what I want.

What can I say that everyone else hasn't said? Keep your hopes up, and when the time is right, love will come to you. But I also want you to know that females sometimes have the same problems that males do.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I read your blog from time to time and this one takes the cake. Don't get down on yourself man. You need to go out to the bar and get some..

susan said...

I'm very similar to you. Was feeling the same way you were months ago. I was depressed (not that you are). I'm a senior in college and questioned many times what am I doing in life. Even if I get a good job and make lots of money, so what if I'm not happy. Whatever happiness is really. Do you ever notice that the more we strive toward happiness the unhappier we become. Society says we must be happy, and what is happiness? A good relationship and making lots of money. I'm sick of doing what society expects of me. I'm almost 22. I should be in a relationship by now. So what if I'm not. Sometimes I think I'm too influenced by what I'm supposed to be doing. I have to adopt the attitude: i don't give a damn.

I've realized that my deep depression months ago compelled to do something to get out of my rut. I, too, needed radical change. So I decided to study abroad.
I've struggled with thoughts of: what's the point? we're just going to die anyway.
On relationships, I've never really been in one, and don't desire to be in one. But sometimes I just think I say that to convince myself that I don't want one.
I think you would like the book Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. It somewhat helped me. It deals with all these issues.

I'm trying to find meaning when I think there's ultimately no point. Basically I'm a nihlist who wants to care on some level.

MainePharmTech said...

I just happened on your blog, so you probably won't end up reading this message.

I just wanted you to know that do not despair about being short! I only date short men. My current boyfriend is 5'4''. I always thought it would be hard to find a guy when I'm only attracted to the short ones.

I've been reading a lot of your blog, to catch up, and I think your only problem is that you're not over your ex. Until you are, it'll be really difficult to start dating anyone. My way of knowing I was ready to date again was when I would compare someone to my ex and think, they are better. If I'm thinking my ex is better, then I'm not ready to move on.

One of the things I had to learn was dating outside the box. I'm two years older than my boyfriend. We met when he came up to me and asked if he could join me for lunch. I was the first girl he'd ever given his number to.

My advice is the same as everyone else's. Be confident. When you find someone you find attractive, ask them out. The worst that can happen is they say no. The best, you get a new date! And what about other pharmacists in the area? As long as you're not dating your techs, you should be ok.

Also, my definition of nice is someone that I would want to date if I was at a point in my life to date or if I was single. At least I would know if I ever became single, I should look you up!