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Summer Flings and Diamond Rings

Thursday, June 03, 2010

It was August 2006. I had just started a new job and was figuring myself a pretty big deal since this new position was in my field and finally paid more than poverty level in Chicago. I was working on my first big project that involved calling around for a bunch of quotes on some new equipment we were looking into purchasing and meeting with contractors who were coming out to pitch their latest and greatest models. That's when he walked into my life.

My back was to him when he actually walked in since I was busy on the phone, but when I turned around I was struck... love at first sight - I don't know what else to call it. It had never happened to me before and it hasn't happened again since. I tried to keep my palms from sweating and from batting my eyes at him as he described the equipment he was selling. Get yourself together woman - you're supposed to be a professional! Professional or not - I was done for. I would have bought ANYTHING from him right there and then.

Luckily for me, his company was also the least expensive, and a few days later he was back in my building, going over a proposal to install what we needed. It should have ended there and then. But for whatever reason, he thought I was fun to talk to and we sat in the theatre after talking about the proposal and chatted about everything from families to jobs to plans for the rest of the summer. I was melting into a puddle in front of him. Completely smitten.

Our conversations continued over that fall and to my surprise, he seemed to find excuses to call me to catch up, always asking about business first, but then cracking a joke, or slipping in a personal anecdote of some sort. Our emails and phone calls back and forth turned into breakfast meetings about once a month. There was no one else in the world I would get up that early in the morning for. It felt as though he was courting me...except when he would inevitably break into talking about a pending contract with my company, or when I would argue to pay the bill because he had picked up the last 3. "We" had our favorite breakfast places. I knew what he took in his coffee. My heart started to beat faster when I saw his name on my phone. Haha - It's doing it again as I write this. I wanted him with every fiber of my being.

He was the perfect guy for me. Tight with his family. Sporty, but down to earth. Cultured, but not anywhere close to the over-cultured, theatre-type I was used to dating. Wealthy, but frugal. Ruggedly handsome and boyishly cute all at the same time. We liked the same things, the same kinds of people. It would have been a match made in heaven as far as I was concerned.

But I was a 5'2", pushing 300 pounds, previously married & divorced woman with a ton of emotional baggage and an addiction to food. How could this perfect specimen of a man possibly love me?

So I stood back, and refrained from pursuing a romantic relationship with him because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed for me, but I was more embarrassed for him. Even if he did like me, I wouldn't subject him to being seen with me. His type did not date my type.

We continued to brunch and lunch (and sometimes dinner), and attend sports games, and hang out after work to grab a beer for two full years. Both of us single. The attraction (at least as far as I was concerned) inevitable. I met his family. His whole family. He introduced me to his grandmother unexpectedly one evening after work when he surprised me with a "what are you doing right now?" phone call. I loved all of them, and as far as I could tell, they loved me too. I became friends with his sister and her husband and started hanging out with her apart from him. I was SO in. But I was still so fat.

It was August 2008 when he called me to ask about my new relationship with my current boyfriend, as he'd heard I was dating someone. And it was then that he told me he'd met someone too. I'd had my suspicions. At our most recent breakfast date he'd ordered an extra meal to "take to someone". In the car on the way to a family cookout at his sister's place, he mentioned that he and "someone" had gone to see a particular show that I liked. And even though I had just gone FBO (Facebook Official) with my current beau, I was dreading this talk like no other. I knew it was the end. The end of the fantasy about what him and I could have been if only there were less of me. I congratulated him on his new lady-friend and then went home and cried for 2 hours.

For the past two years I've been negotiating my own relationship with a wonderful man who loves me for who I am. But for the past two years I've also been watching his relationship with the love of his life bloom and grow and solidify. I watched them contemplate moving in together, then buying a house, then getting a dog. I listened to her talk about the first time he told her he loved her. About the trips they were planning together. The life that they were building together. My heart breaking more at each meeting. I watched all of this because "they" are now my friends, not just him.

The last time we went out to eat together, she came too. He asked me first if it was ok - it's nice to know he still honours our little tradition. But I knew then that it was going to be him and her from here on out. If only I weren't such a coward. She's perfect for him - beautiful, active, tall & slender, kindhearted, and a doctor to boot. Everything I wish I were - but most of which I will never be, because that's just not who I am.

Yesterday, she flashed me the most beautiful diamond ring - designed by him, just for her. I shrieked with excitement. I'm really, seriously happy for them. I didn't realize it at the time, but I had helped him plan his engagement. On that most recent lunch outing with the two of them, they were asking me about travel destinations for their upcoming anniversary trip. I suggested a few, and they eventually decided on Portland, which I told them was simply breathtaking in beauty. And it was there, over this past weekend, that he proposed to her on bended knee during a hike behind a waterfall. A perfect proposal for two perfect people.

Someday I will have all those things. Someday I will be the person I know I am inside and out. Someday the love of my life will sweep me off my feet and we'll run off into the sunset!

But I know I still have a long way to go before I get there. Not only in body, but in spirit as well. I feel like this time I lost the perfect guy - but in all honesty, it's because I really wasn't ready for him anyway. None of us are really perfect - but I'm going to keep working on myself and plodding ahead on my journey for my own idea of perfection (which is really as imperfect as it gets). And next time when someone "perfect" comes along who really IS perfect for ME, I will be ready - with open arms!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm currently readingmy way through your blogs and this one...this one made me cry. It's the story of my life. It's the movie that makes every woman cry. It's the book no one can put down. I've been that friend. That friend that the guys would love to be with if it weren't for the weight. I cannot wait to read the rest of your blogs to see how your story pans out.
    2453 days ago
  • KCLARK1355
    emoticon I'm such a sissy - your story made me cry and yet I'm smiling too! You have a gift in your writing and I'm sending hugs to you! It takes alot of strength to admit what we are ready for and what we are not. It's out there for you - when you find it hang on for the ride!
    2832 days ago
  • MARTINT011
    The song that was sung by Sammy Davis explains this, I can't be right for somebody else until I'm right for me . So true. emoticon
    2835 days ago
    Wow you have a fantastic skill of being able to portray things in words. Amazing blogg and only because you have shown how truly beautiful you are, I hope you are able to see that you are and get your hearts wildest dreams.
    2836 days ago
    Great story, when I met my husband I knew he was the man I would marry. I even told my sister that I was going to marry him some day. I didn't know at the time that he was already married so when I found out I left it there. I could never stop thinking of him though. I felt as if he was supposed to be with me. Once I moved to the south I found out he was going through a divorce. We started being friends, then became best friends, and now he is the love of my life, my husband. I think at times you just know but you have to wait until it is right.
    2838 days ago
    emoticon I know exactly what you mean.
    2838 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. I hope that soon you will see the wonderful, beautiful person that comes through in your writing. emoticon
    2841 days ago
    I lost myself in your words... beautiful. Sending hugs and serenity your way.
    2841 days ago
    That was so beautifully written and heart-wrenching I don't know what to say. I am out of breath. You just wrote a movie in my head. - I was hanging on every single word.

    I don't think I have met the man of my dreams but I know what it's like to not be ready and to get in the way of my happiness.... or wish I was ready for the things I wanted, knowing that I wasn't.

    Girl, you are so beautiful right now and so amazing and one day all of the stars will align and you will be ready to receive all the lovin' you can handle and more... I just know it for you and for me.

    Wow. I know this is your life but I am speechless at the beauty of this story...

    If I could hug you right now I would. XO

    2841 days ago
    Oh! That isn't how I thought this blog would end :( One of the most confident people I know is my friend Ellie, who weighs around 325 pounds. I have NEVER heard her say anything negative about herself. I have never seen her act self-concious about her weight. She accepts herself as she is and expects others to as well. She's married to a handsome, successful man and she seems to accept that as her due as well!

    I think the way we see ourselves has a big influence on how others view us. You may not be where you'd like to be physically, but tell yourself you'll get there, and meanwhile, you can be confident and capable-- because you have a lot to offer!

    Best wishes!
    2841 days ago
  • 56_PICKLES
    Jenn, what a fabulously written blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us. In writing you are also healing. Be glad you found him as a friend and his friendship probably helped you find your way to start loving yourself. Have faith, someone is out there.
    2843 days ago
    Thank-you for sharing this story. I found your story both heart warming and heart breaking. As I read your blog I smiled at some points and had a tear in my eye at other points. I have to agree with you we are not perfect but there is someone out there who is perfect for each of us and we are perfect for them! emoticon
    2844 days ago
    Fabulously written. I felt all of the emotions you conveyed and actually teared up a little myself! And you're right; one day, you'll find the perfect guy for you. This guy wasn't it, but he was the perfect friend which is what you needed. Now that you're learning to love yourself, you will be able to love another wholeheartedly, without reservation. Best of luck to you.
    2844 days ago
  • WYND10
    Gotta say Jenn, as I read this my heart was breaking too. Thank you for sharing. And you're right, you will find your perfect guy.

    2844 days ago
    I had to add though that this really struck me because I met my friends' friend the other day (SUPER cute and his mannerisms match my type exactly... I developed a pretty big crush and I don't get those easily!) and I was telling my mom about him that night and ended with, "I just wish I'd been ready for him." haha But what will be will be :)
    2844 days ago
    Aww, sweetheart. I'm sorry.

    I know a lot of people on here will say things like, "You're awesome just the way you are!!" but honestly, I know exactly how you feel. You ARE awesome just the way you are, but I know you're working towards becoming even better just like the rest of us!

    Maybe things could have gone differently if you'd chased him, but then again maybe you would have two less good friends now if you'd chased him OFF. All I know is, apparently, he wasn't the right one for you and you are correct! You're working hard to be everything that you know you can be and when the RIGHT guy comes along, you will be ready for him and you'll have certainly earned it which will make it that much more valuable!!

    I'm sorry you had to go through this, but I strongly believe that there's a reason for everything and a lesson in every experience.

    And just because you're still trying to figure out who you are doesn't mean you don't love yourself enough. Yes, loving yourself IS important, but I think part of this journey is learning what we DON'T love about ourselves and then changing it!


    (Loved the blog, btw. You're a great writer! I was absorbed.)
    2844 days ago
    Your time will come. One day you will be ready and the right man will be there for you.

    emoticon emoticon
    2844 days ago
    Oh girl----never never ever let your weight stand in your way of, love. What a different outcome it might of been if you could learn to love yourself----at any weight. You sound like such a super, interesting and fun person listen to your heart not just the negative self image talking. You just have so much to offer. It sounds like he was really into you and with just a little encouragement who knows-- but on with life and lets see what is behind the next door.
    2844 days ago
    Girl!... I love this blog. It is nice to see someone so completely and truly honest with everyone. I think everyone has gone through something similar but so many people would never share it. I think it is truly brave of you and I commend you... and I know you will find your perfect imperfect guy who is perfect for you!!! You rock girl!
    2844 days ago
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