Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cutting His Losses

I was excited to see The Irishman and his daughter this weekend. To my surprise, he came over alone on Friday evening and called it quits. Despite my own fears and doubts, I confess I didn’t see it coming.

“I just can’t,” he said.

As it turns out, The Irishman’s steamer trunk is filled with rocks and is sinking fast. He is too overwhelmed to be in a relationship at the moment, so he wants to be my friend.

What is our ‘relationship’? I was waiting to talk about it, to give it a name we both felt comfortable with; he had already named it, become overwhelmed and needed to rename it.

I didn’t know it, but I had been dubbed ‘girlfriend’. His friends knew. He told his sister. He had even told his mother! No wonder his mother was eager to meet me during her short visit from Ireland last week. The Irishman brought his sister and mother over for tea. I made sure the house was sparkling and baked a picture-perfect apple pie. I loved meeting them and had a fabulous time. Before they left, cameras came out and many photos were snapped with the promise of sharing them in the future. There were questions about whether or not I would be visiting Ireland.

There was no way for me to know, but apparently The Irishman had already decided.

“I just can’t,” he said.

I asked why he had gone to the trouble of introducing me to his family if he felt we should ‘end’ things, and he said that his mother wanted to meet me, his girlfriend, and that he wanted her to meet me. The introduction to his family only made my fantasies run wilder than they had the week before. He should have never allowed that meeting to happen and I am angry about it.

I cried this morning when I put away his daughter’s toothbrush for safekeeping. I supposed I should have thrown it away, but that seemed to final an act. I’m in love with that little girl and her big blue eyes that look so much like her Daddy’s.

My fantasies of being whisked away by a pair of strong arms have been dashed.

I am sad and so is The Irishman. We both cried as he left.

He hopes that we can still be friends.

He hopes we can still be in each other’s lives.

He wants to know if we can meet for drinks after work.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cutting My Losses

I had a great first date with The Irishman and things seem to be going pretty well. He’s fun, kind, helpful, hardworking, sexy, and he’s a single dad with more baggage than I could dream of having. In spite of his very heavy steamer trunk, I decided to climb aboard his ship and test the waters.

Before I knew what was happening, I fell madly in love with his little girl. The first time her big blue eyes looked up at me as she hugged me and said, “I love you,” I was a goner. Of course, she is too young to understand that Daddy is dating. Frankly, I don’t think she should know. She still dreams of her parents’ reconciliation and The Parent Trap is her favorite movie. Of course that doesn’t stop me from fantasizing about him grabbing me in his strong arms, telling me he can’t live without me and whisking me away to his precious Emerald Isle.

I have asked myself over and over again whether I would have continued to see The Irishman if I hadn’t fallen head over heels with his daughter. There is no way to know. They are a package deal and he has the same eyes.

I am caught between a rock and a hard place.

The passage of time has made my doubts grow deep and my fantasies grow strong. My own life is upside down these days and I am looking for the key, buried ages ago, to my own steamer trunk. The Irishman and I have only been seeing each other for a short while, yet the involvement of family and child and the shared details that have been locked up tight in his steamer trunk of baggage seem to have accelerated the opening of my heart, my need to know where I stand, the need to declare “us.”

I want to pack my own bags of baggage and brace for the ride, but he has not offered a ticket and I think that, for this leg of his journey, he must sail alone. Should I be patient, enjoy the ride and wait for him to be ready, or is it time to cut my losses and run?