The Gaze

10/21/2012 The Romantic 3 Comments

The beautiful thing about an anonymous secret blog  is that I can vent my emotions to the public at large, and yet no one knows it's me. I can skip the awkward facebook status update that I know I'll regret in the morning and just release my woes here. And no one that really knows me will ever be the wiser.

Today I feel resigned to spinsterhood. I feel resigned to the fact that I will be the maiden aunt. Today I feel as though I'm Miss Bates personified: awkward, bumbling, the forever third wheel, and not quite socially aware as I should be.

I suppose my feelings today are due to a combination of different things, but mostly it boils down to an old relationship I was thinking about. There was a person I met awhile ago.  I told him once that he was the best friend I ever had at that point in my life. Our relationship has been so personal and sacred to me, I've never even mentioned it here... We were close. Maybe too close. He had a girl friend you see, and I was preparing to preach the gospel to the people of Korea.

We had conversations that I will never forget. Conversations that opened my eyes and taught me how to be a better person. We laughed together, and we cried together. We ran the whole spectrum of emotions together in a few short weeks. Though we've barely spoken since my homecoming and his nuptials, I will treasure that relationship just as much, if not more than any of the men I ever dated. And the reason for that can be summed up in this story:

I was very sick one night and he came to visit me even though it was late and in the middle of mid-terms. He asked me questions about myself. I can't remember what story I told him, but I remember telling him what kind of person I wanted to be. And I remember distinctly the look in his eyes. It was so familiar and not at the same time. It was love, but not the romantic kind. It was concern mixed with compassion. It was a deep look right into my soul. It wasn't the last time he'd give me that look. Simply put, he looked at me like I was worth something. I've kept a mental picture of each look he's ever given me, locked away in memory; seldom remembered, but deeply treasured.

As I sat on the couch tonight at ward prayer, it suddenly hit me: He was the last man that ever looked at me that way, like I was worth something. I watched the guys and girls in my ward pal around tonight and I felt so completely apart from it all. My heart ached for those moments when that man would look at me. All the secret side glances, the quick moments of eye contact from across rooms, the deep soul searching gazes that we used to exchange in those few short weeks we knew each other before I left were my hope on my mission. They were the hope, that I would serve the Lord with all I had to come back and find a man just as good as he was. But I sat on that couch tonight, apart from it all, craving that male companionship that used to come so easily to me. And I found that hope gone, lost in the secret smiles and side glances exchanged between friendships I'm not involved in.

I'm sure tomorrow I'll feel differently. I'll wake up with hope again. I'll rise with a renewed belief in love and gazes and sidelong glances.

But tonight, I'm going to be Miss Bates.

-the unRomantic

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Emery Scott said...

Oh... I know how you feel, Romantic. Why does it seem in this land of plenty, that I keep going through famines? And the few guys (I'm a bit older than you so I've had a few) who have looked at me like that are married and no longer available to me. And I miss them. Hope and faith seem to be what kick in here and tell me that some day, I will have my Mr. Darcy/Captain Wentworth/Mr. Tilney/Mr. Knightley etc. I just really hate being patient.

Anonymous said...

I used to get this way often when I was single. Actually, I got this way pretty much monthly...if you catch my drift. I would reminisce on past boyfriends, almost boyfriends, and close guy friends and convince myself that so and so had almost certainly been exactly what I had always wanted in a man. It would make me feel sick. It would make me feel despair. I would sometimes think there was no possible way I would find a guy so right again. It was impossible. Anyway, after a boy drought of 8 or so months, and me liking a guy and him brushing me off, I thought to myself, "Hey, Anonymous, maybe it's not all the lame guys (of which there are plenty), maybe it's all my lame taste in guys." I wrote in my journal that night a list of things that were actually important in a guy: That the gospel was first. That he served a great mission but didn't talk about it endlessly. That he was confident, but not in his own amazingness, just confident in his beliefs and his future and his goals. I started dating completely different types of guys. I didn't let it bug me if they didn't speak up all the time, or didn't argue with me. I looked for the confidence that counted. I found a guy who was absolutely nothing like the past guys I had built up in my head. Could not be more different. But he's perfect for me. Your guy will come. I think it's when you're worrying about it most that it is least likely to happen. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

May you be blessed with the person who will compliment you and will be able to grow with you into eternity, and may the Lord finish preparing him for you soon.

Mr. Bennett