Thursday, May 8, 2008


I'm starting to believe I'm a glutton for punishment. Almost all of my favorite books and movies have some sort of painful twist in them. Last night I realized I was out of new books to read. Since the last time I ventured to the library ended in demolishing my right ankle (feeling better, still grossly swollen), I was unable to get any new books. This means I must scrounge around in my bookshelf for any books I haven't read in awhile.

The book I picked up is by Elizabeth Berg, called "Until the Real Thing Comes Along". I first read this book at least 6 years ago. It's about a woman who is 36 and in love with her ex-fiance, who is now gay and her best friend. The woman, Patty, always thought she'd be married with a few children by that age, and decides that she'll take what she can get, and talks her best friend Ethan into making a baby with her. When she finally has her child, she's miserable, as the man she loves has met another, and she just can't move on. The title is in reference to her plan with the best friend/ex-fiance. They'll have this baby and act like a couple (minus all the sexual bits) until their real thing comes along. While the story was not related to any of my personal life, the book really touched me. This particular excerpt says it all, "he took me out to dinner to a very nice place to break off our engagement and told me it was because he was gay. "Oh, Ethan," I said, "that's okay, I'll marry you anyway."

Sometimes we find ourselves in places and situations we really wish we weren't in, yet, we don't see that until later. I've been "Patty" before. I spent a few years of my life with a person who was waiting for HIS real thing to come along, and sadly, I was content with that plan. Finally, she came along, and I was alone. I'm pretty sure I was reading this book at that time, and just nodding my head and thinking, "I know that feeling, I'm feeling that right now!"

I don't know if it's because of how many years were wasted after Paul and I broke up the first time, but I can't bear to have a couple not together. If she loves him, and he loves her, what's the problem? This issue has caused me actual stomach aches, this drama of mine. Ross and Rachel, Jim and Pam. Still, real life has led me to believe that no matter what, these "destined in the script" couples won't be allowed to be together.

I'm constantly doubting my own marriage, thinking somehow I'll be punished for squandering so many years with other people, while MY real thing was somewhere I couldn't find him. I don't doubt I love Paul, or that he loves me. No, my doubt is directed above, to Him, if such an entity exists. See, the problem is, I don't really think I'm that good of a person. I can be mean, and hold grudges, I'm sometimes petty and judgmental. Why should I get everything I crave? I think this is what propels me to my hypochondria about my health. It's like I'm just waiting for that anvil to come tearing out of the sky like a Looney Toons cartoon. Somehow, I keep thinking it'll all catch up to me, and He will realize, "Waaait a minute, Amber hasn't gotten what's coming to her yet? Okay, here we go..." It's funny to me, not raised with any sort of religion, where did this guilt come from? I'm not a murderer or a dog abuser, I never eat grapes without buying them first. I refuse to jaywalk, and will always wait for the light to turn to cross. Despite that, I have a problem believing I'll be allowed to have a second chance with my real thing, to be happy. How often do people get second chances? And it's not a tiny second chance, it's a chance at love. A chance at family. A chance to make it right.

Now I'm just hoping Paul's deeply loving and good soul will be enough to cover us both in case of accidental Amber-ness.


Kj said...

You and I should go out for drinks one night. I can so relate to this post. Thankfully, I've learned how to manage my "I'm not good enough for this" mentalilty. Gez... I could write a whole novel about this. Seriously, I could. It has haunted me my whole life. Word to the wise, find a way for making it work for you instead of against you before it does end up destroying your life.

And for what its worth, you rank pretty high in my book. I have respect and love for you by the bucket load. I'll be happy to parcel some over to you on your weak days ;-)

You deserve all the goodness and more. Keep on rocking girlie.

lisa said...

How did I not know about your blog?!?!?! Well now that I've found it, I plan on going backwards til I get to the beginning.

Oh and btw, if you and kj go out for drinks, I want to be invited!

fatafelice said...

If a higher power has it out for you, I'm screwed.

Seriously, though, I know how that feels, like you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But keep your chin up. Would a 'deeply loving and good soul"- possessing person choose to spend the rest of his life with you if he wasn't sure that you were also a good-hearted person? ;)

As for reading, have you read Water for Elephants? I loved it!

And thank you for checking in on me...I am carrying on. But I think I will have a huge sense of relief come June 29th!


fatafelice said...

Hey, are you doing okay?