The Tortoise in this story is
The Hare in this story is
I met Al right before my birthday, July, 1981. That is 33 years ago. 33 long years. After a year of dating and about a year of staying in touch, we had a 30 year break. We started our relationship up again full blast 3 years ago. We have been texting (I just looked and I myself have sent over 4000 texts in July to Al), emailing, phoning (Okay, only once or twice a day) fools since then and have managed to see each other at least once a month, sometimes twice, since then. We’ve had 4 or 5 week long visits in that time. We’ve spent countless dollars on plane tickets and hotel rooms.
I am sick of it.
Sick of having to convey information that if he was here he would just know.
Sick of not having him to hug when I want to.
Sick of having to stop and talk on the phone because I have to.
A friend of mine was here for my birthday party last week and while sitting in a big group he told us about his recent breakup. He is gay not that it matters. He and his boyfriend broke up because the boyfriend was moving 3 hours away to be closer to his kids. He said, “Yes, we just pulled the plug because long distance relationships never work.” My long distance lover was standing about 20 feet away in the kitchen. I said, “You might remember that I am doing that and yes, they suck shit.” He then said, “Yes, well I am also never dating someone that has kids again. Because they always come first. You can never come first with someone that has kids.”
(ASIDE: I’ve been thinking of that conversation a lot. This is going to surprise Al when he reads it because he doesn’t know of this conversation and that I have been processing it because it would have required me to text it or type in an email or tell him specifically on the phone because we are in a stupid long distance relationship (SLDR). It didn’t come up before he left because we were talking about other things. Now he is 915 miles away. That is what happens to kill stupid long distance relationships BTW. It is the day to day crap that you have to make sure to communicate, then you don’t because it isn’t really important, you leave things out, pick and choose what to share, then all of a sudden you aren’t so much a part of that person’s life anymore. The little details are the kiss of death in a SLDR.)
But, it is true that kids come first, always.
What my friend doesn’t understand, because you just don’t understand it unless you have kids, is how much you love your children and how gut wrenchingly responsible you feel for them. They come first. If they don’t come first, well, you probably aren’t a great parent. I hate to step on toes, but it’s true. Since I started birdnesting, I have lost count of the people that say to me, “Wow. Better you than me. I could never leave my home and not sleep in my bed every night.” In my head I think, “Really? Not even for your children? Because I would sleep on the side of the road if it meant my kids didn’t have to.
It is like when I worked in pediatric oncology and people would say to me,
“Oh I could never do that job. Kids with cancer?
Yuck. I couldn’t do that. I love children too much.”
Yeah, I hate’ em. I hope they all die. That is why I do this job.
People are so crazy.
I am in a relationship with a man with 3 kids. We can’t be together on a daily basis until he feels confident that his 3 kids are okay with it. He is a tortoise, slow and methodical. I am a hare, quick and fast footed. Impulsive even. I would have moved there already if I could. For me to move, Stanley would have to agree. That ain’t happening. I am 4 years from my oldest going to college. Al has one child that has graduated from college and is starting her own life in a city far from home, closer to me in fact. His son is a sophomore in college an hour from me which leaves his youngest daughter who is a junior in HS. He doesn’t see his daughter that often, even though he is there for her, because of logistical reasons there and also she is a social kid. She has a lot of friends and loves to be with them. She doesn’t want to hang with dad on Saturday night, even if it is his Saturday night. I can relate, I wouldn’t have wanted to do that either when I was 16. That said, they are very close and text and talk often throughout the day.
I get upset because this isn’t moving faster.
The tortoise takes his time and wants all 3 of his kids to be ready and approve of his plan. The hare thinks that it is insane to wait on the whim of teenagers, 2 that don’t even live there. The hare would be talking to those kids at every opportunity to move them along.
Move along baby.
He keeps reminding me we have a plan.
Yeah, yeah, the plan… Fuck the plan. Hares do NOT like plans. We like to run circles around people and dance.
Should tortoises and hares even consider being involved romantically?
I love this tortoise. He is a hot, sweet, romantic, nearly perfect tortoise. I could only have done this for this length of time with this particular tortoise. So, I think, okay you crazy Cuckoo, lower your expectations, this is how he operates and works and he has a plan.
Then I’m like, Naw HELL NO.
I lowered my expectations in my marriage. I’m not married.
You DO NOT lower your expectations for a boyfriend.
I’m not stupid
So, there you go.
I am going to try to be patient longer and homeboy needs to hurry up a little.
My biggest fear is that this relationship is going to feel old before we even get together.
I don’t want it to feel old. Because again, we aren’t married!