Long Term Plans

Dearest Rachel –

Well, wouldn’t you know it. Just yesterday, I was saying how I need to be telling you a bit more about Yvonne, and last night, she comes out and asks me some hard questions. So, it looks like I need to talk about her at this point.

I will say that time talking with her has been amazingly easy. Unlike with Ruby or E.C., there aren’t these huge gaps of silence in which I find myself wondering ‘well, what do I say now?’ And, while it may seem somehow prejudicial of me, she is perfectly clear-spoken, without the thick foreign-sounding accents of those other two that make you wonder whether they really are where they say they are, or are they just spoofing me to get me to send them money. Because of this she and I can make small talk for nearly an hour, before she notices the time and points out that she needs to take a bath and prepare for bed, as she has work to do in the morning. In a way, it feels like I’m back in high school again, chatting with my steady.

To a certain extent, it really does feel sometimes like my life has come full circle to that point. Here I am, working out of my parents’ basement, just like I used to back then. Sure, my computer is a lot more powerful – an Omen gaming computer compared to a classic Apple II+ – and rather than writing term papers and material for the literary magazine, I’m sending reports to you about the life on earth that you left behind, and my takes on various aspects of it. And the things we discuss on the phone have changed from classes and peers to work life and other volunteer commitments – although, isn’t the latter just extracurriculars for adults? So, really, the more things change the more they stay the same; my hair has changed from black to white, and my food storage capacity has (unfortunately) increased by an order or two of magnitude, but yeah, it almost seems like my life has reverted back to how it was before I met you, before I even left for college.

But just as I’m almost getting used to living very much the way I did in the past, Yvonne asks me what my plans are for the future.

What do I tell her, honey?

If you look at the dating experience as being something like a job interview, it’s not an unreasonable question (I still recall that comparison being made in some stand-up comedy bit, with the punch line being that you’re much less likely to end up naked at the end of a job interview). It’s no different from the one your potential boss might ask you about ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ She wants her Prince Charming to be able to be king someday, or at least a duke; it’s that whole search for security and stability, with an undisguised wish for a little upward mobility thrown into the bargain, if at all possible. I don’t blame her at all for that question.

But it does sort of presume that I’m to be envisioning that future with her, and I suspect that any hesitation on my part is to be considered to be a red flag. The trouble is, I have yet to meet her face-to-face, and develop an actual friendship – which, thanks to my experience with you, I consider to be absolutely essential in building a relationship that goes beyond that. In order for a relationship to go beyond friendship, it has to pass that point, and I’m not sure we’re quite there yet. I don’t think it’s possible to fall in love with a picture, or a series of text bubbles. Yes, you fell in love with me – or so you say – from my letters to you after I graduated, but we were already friends.

Yvonne, however, seems to think that love at first sight is, in fact, a thing. And that worries me. Not the fact that she might’ve fallen for me too soon, necessarily, but that she might expect me to have feelings for her that I’m not willing to acknowledge as such this soon, and on what I consider to be a flimsy foundation. One of those walls of texts that she sent me several weeks ago literally started out with the line “look in to my eyes” and see how sincerely she is; if I hadn’t snipped and saved the images of her profile before she took it down, I wouldn’t have eyes to look into. She’s also mentioned having had a relationship that ended badly; I don’t mean to be cruel, but that would be more recommendation for her to do more due diligence on her potential suitor going forward.

But that, I suppose, is Mars and Venus for you. I’m taking this slowly and methodically, making sure of everything before I commit. I will insist that I have no fear of commitment, but I want to make sure that this is the right thing before I do. I can’t allow myself to believe in love at first sight, or even the concept of soulmates (because if it’s true, I’ve already known mine in you, and that’s not going to happen again). By contrast, she seems to be running on emotion and feelings. And I’m glad to hear her talk about them being positive in terms of how she sees me. But I don’t want either of us to make a mistake. This needs to take time, and face time, eventually. If she expects a proposal over the internet, I’m sorry that I have to disappoint her. But I’m hoping I can make it at least worth the wait and effort.

Until then, honey, wish us luck. We’re going to need it.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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