I miss Sherry.
With all of the hubbabaloo about the feminist paper — especially that feminist paper, I’ve been thinking about her more often than not for the past few days.
This paper, the jalepeno-cheese paper, offending people in the pizzaria while we’re talking about BDSM, submission, and feminism. This paper that caused her to crow “I knew you were a feminist” like she’d caught me with my hand in the cookie jar. This paper that prompted me to look at women’s silence as something subversive and the importance of voice and presence in a Shakespeare play.
This paper, the one in which I discovered my own voice. It wasn’t just my paper. It was our paper in a way that I really can’t describe.
I went to the seminar on relationships a couple of weeks back, and I can’t explain how powerful it really was. Chris Chenoweth really put things in perspective for me. He talked about how people don’t fall in love with other people; they fall in love with the way people make them feel.
I thought about that for a little bit, and I came to the conclusion that, for most of the time, that’s true. People don’t fall in love with people, they fall in love with their own emotional reactions.
But that isn’t always true.
I think that falling in love is a continuous process. You fall in love with someone over and over and over again. Until, in some cases, you just don’t. But connection is required for the process; it’s a process, not a singular event.
Kind of like an epiphany. In more than one way, I think.
And I’m not sure how I feel about this falling in love with one’s own emotional response. I get it. I mean, I understand it. But there is a line that is crossed when it becomes less about the way you feel and more about serving the other person.
I saw it with my grandparents. They would have been married 65 years on Valentine’s Day this year.
I know that they didn’t have the ideal marriage I’d like to picture it as, all wine and roses for 64 years, but there is something so incredibly powerful in that kind of commitment. There is something so powerful in the fact that, when he didn’t know who she was, his face would still light up when she walked into the room.
And it became less about how they made each other feel and more about pure recognition.
But the whole point of that tangent was to talk about the seminar, actually. Rev. Chenoweth talked about falling in love, about unpacking baggage over and over again, about unconditional commitment.
And because of that, I decided I was going to actively work on relationships in my life that I felt were fractured or disassociated or missing something vital, or whatever.
So I went through a list and contacted people whose presence I had been missing in my life. Sherry was one of the few who actually responded, but, in the end was most likely the most disappointing.
I called her. I told her how excited I was about the seminar, how wonderful and inspirational and uplifting it was. Told her how it applied to our friendship. I told her that I would be unconditionally committed to it, however, I needed to know if our friendship was important to her. That in order for me to step up, I would require her to engage me, to include me in her life.
Oh yes, she said. We’ll do that. We have so much to catch up on. We’ll get together this week.
Great, I told her. But you’ll have to call me when it’s convenient for you. I’m not going to force myself into your life.
Don’t be silly, she said. Of course we’ll get together.
I was looking forward to it. We still needed to set things straight, I think. But now it’s been over two weeks. And that’s just since I laid it out there. Before that, it was that month or of weirdness where we never quite connected the same way. Before that, it was three months of her purposely gathering her family around her (understandably) while telling me, in a Shakespearean aside, how bad her family was for her.
Before that it was fair-weather, only I wasn’t in a position to see it through any sort of distance.
I haven’t talked to K since the day of the withdrawal, Jan. 09. I’ve talked to Sherry maybe twice since then.
I think it’s time to let it go.