I can be very superstitious. Especially about dating. There are certain things that, if I do them, seem to doom the relationship. I know it sounds silly, but it’s uncannily consistent, and I suspect I’m not the only one to whom these things happen.
I’ve written before of the diabolical effects that food has on my relationships — if I provide a man a meal, either by cooking it myself or dropping large coin on the dinner tab, the night will inevitably end with me in tears. I used to think that perhaps it was my less-than-fabulous culinary skills, but I’ve since realized that it extends to the best chefs in Boulder, so apparently it’s not my cooking. And before you go thinking that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, let me assure you that several times I have forgotten this particular jinx, found myself crying at the end of the evening, and had to back-track to figure out what went wrong. “Ah! You stupid idiot! You bought him oysters again! Duh!”
Perhaps the most annoying jinx — due to the sheer inconvenience of it — is that I cannot put a man I am romantically interested in into my list of favorites in my phone. I have no idea why the fates insist that I dial his number every single time, but there you have it. If I favorite his number, the relationship will most definitely fall apart with a day or two. Guaranteed. Don’t believe me? I offer as exhibit A the time I favorited the guy I’d been dating for months, only to have him take off the next day for a weekend getaway with a stripper. And, no, I’m not kidding. Exhibit B: the guy who surprised me with the unexpected declaration that he loved me and wanted to have babies with me and live happily ever after? The next day I put his number on my favorites list and didn’t hear from him again for a year. Seriously.
I have put James’ number on my favorites list twice; and we have broken up — twice. You do the math. I almost put James’ number on my favorites list last week and then thought the better of it…. which certainly explains the recent near-miss we had.
But the one jinx that I really hate the most is the jinx on acknowledging my own happiness in a relationship. I don’t know why, but as soon as I begin to think that a relationship truly has legs and might not crumble at the slightest difficulty, as soon as I really trust that it’s real, that’s when it disappears. Poof! Gone. And so I am guarded. Afraid to really embrace my own contentment and joy. My good friends know this and mostly shrug it off. “How are things going with James?” they say. “Pretty good, I guess,” I say. “Oh my gosh!” they laugh, “Will you just enjoy it, already?!” Uh huh. They don’t have the jinx….
The jinx holds me back. I have been hesitant to write too much about James… fearful that the moment I wax poetic about how he makes me laugh or how I love kissing him or how safe I feel in his arms…. Poof! Gone. But I am all too aware of my jinx and how quickly this might disappear. So I will continue dialing his number and trying to avoid buying him food and exercising only cautious optimism around our relationship. Because I really, really don’t want this one to disappear.
Oh, and by the way, this is the second time I have had to write this particular post. The first time? I hit “Save Draft” and my computer crashed immediately. Coincidence? I think not…..