Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Burning Love

I've hesitated to write about this because break ups are always hard. Sometimes it is best to let some time go by to let the wound heal. “Time heals all” as the old saying goes.

But the saying is true and the hurt feelings aren't as painful two months later. I guess that is one benefit of growing older -- you've had a few close calls in the past.

In May when I moved it meant the end to a pretty steady relationship. My friend was young, sleek, warmed up quickly and was pretty even tempered. All qualities you look for in a relationship. It didn't mind when I spilled things on it. But neglecting it could cause quite a blow up. We had three years to get to know each other. Sometimes it would be fickle and what worked before now didn't work. But we were made for each other.

Prior to this three-year relationship, I had a relationship with twins. Don’t judge. Both had electric personalities. And when one was occupied, it was great to have a second just waiting for me.

We had quite a run of it the three of us – five years. But then it was time to move on.

Those relationships were nurtured when I was in my 30s and 40s. In my younger days I often didn't even know the name of my friend. I just needed it to be functional and be there when I needed it. By then we had a baby and I didn't have time to spend on nurturing relationships.

It was even worse when I was right out of college – I neglected my relationships and often didn't even come by to say hello more than a few times a month. I was busy building my career and didn't have much time for hearth and home.

Perhaps as psychiatrists often claim, the way we treat our relationships are formed early in life. And maybe that is true. I do seem to have a vague memory of begging my friend to make soup with me. I think I made up the soup just to feel more confident and to spend time with it – I think it was raisin soup. Not a big seller. I was whiny and demanding. But then years would go by and I wouldn't give it another thought.

Since that early time I've had relationships where there were ah, “functional” issues and sometimes age was just too big a factor to overcome. I even tried to really bond with one by making a Thanksgiving turkey with it but it wouldn't shut up and the turkey was almost ruined.

My latest relationship is quite a bit older than my others. Maybe 30 years older. I groaned when we met but somehow I saw potential. I now know that first impressions can be false. I called up others who knew it better and found out how to make the relationship work. I spent more time on this relationship than on any of the others. Trying to figure out how to make things click between us. It was moody and inconsistent. It takes its time in warming up to me. Sometimes I think it is ready but it isn't. It still is all of those things but we seem to have established a truce. I’m more patient than I was in my younger days and relationships are more critical to me. You might say I depend upon them now.

I’m talking of course about that most serious of relationships – the one between a baker and her stove.

What did you think I was talking about?