More Facebook Doom, and why the LDR

12 05 2010

OK, I may be exaggerating… slightly… But only a very little bit.

Charming and I try to communicate as often as possible.  We actually have a running tradition of daily Skype chats.  It’s  been months since the last day we didn’t “see” each other.  Skype is a wonderful terrible thing.  On one hand, it’s just nice to be able to look at the person you’re talking to, body language and facial expression add so much depth to a conversation.  I like to think that PC and I are good at communicating; we have a rule about talking problems out and we don’t sleep angry, we talk about everything.  Before we started using Skype there were numerous times that things were misread and misinterpreted over emails and Facebook, even, in the early days (before he’d completely caught on to my special brand of dry humour) when we talked on the phone.  Skype has definitely made it easier to have the kind of conversations we’ve become accustomed to having when we’re physically together.

On the other hand, Skype makes that sometimes gut wrenching distance all the more tangible.  This may sound slightly melodramatic, but unless you’ve been in a long distance relationship, or apart from your soul-mate for an extended period of time, you don’t know the emotional roller-coaster that separation can be.  I’m not sure I can explain what it feels like to have your heart broken and mended over and over.  There’s the elation of having met the one person you don’t ever want to do without, and then the set down of the actual distance that separates you.  There’s something bittersweet in saying goodnight over Skype; seeing that dear face so closely that your fingertips ache to brush along the stubble there at the edge of his jaw because you remember what that feels like but knowing that there is no way to reach through the miles of fiber optics and pixels and packets that stand between that ingrained memory and the image before you.  Sometimes that knowledge burns, just a little.

Right about now I’m sure you’re wondering why anyone in their right mind would ever willingly participate in a long distance relationship.  Love, of course, is the only answer.  Not little “l” love, I mean big “L” LOVE.  The kind of love that you stopped believing existed at right about the same time you realized that most of the men you’ve known or dated couldn’t find chivalry in the dictionary let alone act in that way.  Not only was that frog not a prince, he also: prioritized work over life, or liked long legs more than intelligence, or wanted convenience more than substance, or enjoyed the conquest more than the acquisition, or thought you would pick up where his mother had left off.  These frogs were in love with their idea of you, not who you actually were or who you could become.  Gradually, so much so that you didn’t even realize you were doing it, you hardened a little, and learned to forgive a little slower, and trusted a little bit less, and that idea of real Romantic Love faded just a bit, until one day you didn’t believe it existed at all.  Love at first sight was just Lust.  You could recite all the chemical reactions and hormones that go towards promoting attraction and you could chalk everything up to the primal need to procreate.  You blamed the whole crazy mess on pheromones.  The fluffy emotional stuff was just something contrived to make it easier to commercialize the process and tie people down into monogamous relationships that no one was really ever happy with.  Valentines day was a farce, the men you dated were all relieved that you expected nothing, if they even remembered or recognized the date at all.  You were good at saying goodbye without jealousy or false attachment because no one even came close to connecting with your true self.  You weren’t cold, your feelings were just strongly mediated by your capacity for blunt logic.  You had perfected the art of being emotionally detached.

The fact that all my years of becoming jaded and skeptical are continually being disproved is reason enough for me to stay in this sometimes difficult relationship.  That I have completely fallen in to that kind of LOVE I stopped believing in, is almost more of a gift than I know how to be thankful for.  It’s the kind of love that makes up for all the wrongs of past relationships.  I don’t regret anything along the road that brought me here because the person I am is so much more appreciative of what I have with PC than I would have been at 18, or 21, or 24, or 27.  I don’t think I’ve ever elected to learn my lessons the easy way, and Love has certainly been one of the more trying ones.  I’m still working on patience… daily…

So, I have that kind of Love that sometimes feels like an ache in the middle of your chest because you have all this feeling and raw emotion and excess of happiness that you haven’t really learned how to express.  That bone deep longing to just be near the person who loves you back in that same way.  Your soul striving towards another soul that answers it perfectly.  I say again, seeing him and not being able to touch him sometimes feels like more than I can really manage.  Our relationship is anything but convenient, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

While we’re apart we try to do things online that we can do together, or at least to occupy some of the time that we aren’t deep in conversation about, well, everything.  Today we encountered the most amazing and terrifying time sucking worm-hole of an online game (see, I got to the point, eventually, though I think it’s only because I’m down to my last 2/3 cup of coffee… I’m out of grounds.. aagh!).  This game is on Facebook, no, not Farm Ville or some other accursed  Zynga thing.  Noooooo, it’s a game where you have your own little island of people, like Sims, who are all working to get off the island, I think.  I’m not actually sure what they’re hoping to accomplish, but I feel compelled to help them along.  We talked and played this damn game for an hour and a half.  We named our islanders after ourselves and people we know.  We did little quests to make them clothes and feed them.  We got excited when they learned new skills or finished a goal.  It’s like having a whole island of little puppies eager to learn new tricks, only you don’t have to clean up after them and you can just close the browser window when you don’t feel like playing.  But of course you don’t because what if some new treasure appears and you’re not there to click it.  Or what if your little tribe people need something, and you’re not there to tell them to make it, or pick it, or plant it.  They need direction, and supervision.  I can’t stop watching.  I keep going back to check on them.  Someone needs to stop me… please… *whimper*




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