Auld Lang SyneBy Skippy
Hey Kids! Skippy here again, two in a row baby, that's professionalism. Of course you really wouldn't know anything about that in your cheetos-induced stupor would you? I kid, I'm a kidder, I know you prefer pretzels. At any rate I am back for another month of wit, wisdom and love. You know I would really like to do this more than once a month. I have so much joy to spread that once every thirty days just doesn't get it done for me. I tell you if it didn't involve more effort on my part, I would submit these missives for your perusal every week. It does take more effort though, and in the final analysis I have to conclude that you just aren't worth it. Let's not think of that right now, you can't help it and I don't really care, so let's dive right in to the big pot 'o wit.
Big anniversary coming up folks, possibly the biggest of my life. Easily the one I've spent the most time thinking about and planning for over the last few years. You see in just a little bit, it will be the 12 year and 3 month anniversary of my first date with the once and future. Regular Skip Bots are well aware of what this means. Those of you are not, well let's just say that it is fairly involved. The reason this particular anniversary means anything at all is because we always joked that like Harry and Sally in "When Harry Met Sally" we would be married 12 years and 3 months after we met. If we weren't married by that time then that was it, we were through. Funny joke.
Of course, since we haven't spoken in nearly a year and she has a daughter, we will not be married by that time. But in the long years that we have been dating and breaking up and dating again that date has taken on unhealthy significance in my mind. You see on that day I will obtain closure on the relationship. I know that it is odd, possibly sick, but in the past few years that date has given me something to focus on, an endpoint to a relationship that will not end. So at the end of the day on March 2, 2001, my once and future fiancée will become something else, a friend? a memory? the one that got away? I'm not sure, but I hope that on that day I will awake from a dream that I should have put away long ago.
So in preparation of that day, I thought that I might put down here a few remembrances of the relationship that was (and wasn't) in the hopes that I might recall the good and dispel the bad and finish this chapter of my life on a high note. Bear with me on this folks, I know this is not what you expect (though maybe you do) and I apologize for any inconvenience, but this won't be the first time this column has served as my personal venting place. Truth be told, I doubt very highly that it will be the last.
I remember, the first time I saw her and realized that I was looking at my future. I didn't know her, hadn't spoken to her, yet I knew that somehow our lives were to be intertwined for long, long time.
I remember, when I finally worked up the courage to ask her out on a date. I have never been, and probably never will be, as witty and charming as I was that day. I remember, our first date and how we missed most of "Scrooged" starring Bill Murray because we were busy "getting to know each other" in the balcony of a movie theater that no longer exists.
I remember, barreling up highway 101 with Vivaldi's Four Seasons blaring from speakers, racing to make sure we didn't miss "thirtysomething".
I remember, asking her to marry me every day for thirty days until she said yes.
I remember, our first apartment and wondering how we would ever be able to afford 800 dollars a month in rent.
I remember, the day she told me she wanted to break-up the first time and how she needed space for a while to sort things out.
I remember, the first night in my new apartment after the break-up and her calling to beg me to come over to her place because she missed me so much.
I remember, spending every Christmas Eve watching "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto.
I remember, never having enough lights on the tree and her never reminding me that in most homes 2000 lights would be considered enough.
I remember, lying with my arms around her before drifting off to sleep at night and thinking that I had everything I ever needed in the world.
I remember, a magical week in Seattle when I thought it was all going to be OK.
I remember, when I found out it wasn't.
I remember, sitting in an auto dealership with an idiotic grin on my face, listening to a voicemail on which she said she would marry me anytime, anywhere.
I remember, finding out she wouldn't.
I remember, swearing it was finally over between us.
I remember, being down on one knee, on the beach, at midnight on New Year's Eve, asking her to marry me again.
I remember, meeting the woman who I was sure would be the one to help me forget her.
I remember, her not being the one.
I remember, that happening over and over again.
I remember, telling her that I had met someone special and asking her to give me a reason not be with this person.
I remember, the silence on the other end of the line.
I remember, finally letting go.
I remember, that in spite of it all, I loved her in a way that I have never loved before and will probably never love again.
Sallye, I wish you all the best. Maybe we will be friends someday, maybe we won't. I'm sorry for all that I said and did and didn't say and do. I forgive you for all that you said and did and neglected to say and do. I love you, always have, always will, but unlike the movies, that was never enough.
Looking back, we were two kids that played at forever without any idea of what forever meant. I was a child raised on romantic comedies who always expected the violins to come up and everything to be well. Now I know that sometimes there are no violins and it is never all well. Life doesn't have writers and script consultants and directors. Life is a free for all without a script and sometimes no one is able to come up with just the right words to make things all better.
I recall a scene from "Chasing Amy" where Ben Affleck pours his heart out to Joey Lauren Adams. He stumbles and rambles and searches vainly for just the right thing to say. She responds by jumping out of the car and running off into the rain. At that moment, that scene was the most realistic depiction of my relationship that I had ever experienced on screen.
Then Joey Lauren Adams came back and it became just another scene from a movie. Because in real life, they don't come back. They just keep running away into the rainy night.