Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Shall Not Pass!

Okay, I might be mixing my literary references here, but whenever I think of a true stand being taken, I think of Gandalf and the Balrog and I am reminded that it is possible to be unshakeable when something that truly matter to you is on the line:

In my case, what really matters to me is being totally fulfilled in relationship with someone. Which is why I took on the man fast back in June - so I could figure out why that wasn't happening even though I was dating great guys. And then ... dancing with balrogs.

I recently finished reading If the Buddha Dated and was so clear at the end of it that I hadn't been willing to do the work required. I went back through and repeated some sections, including the chapter "Be A Spiritual Warrior: Set a Bottom Line." Given how I'd been spending my summer, it was previously incongruous to do the homework AND still do what I was doing. Instead of clearing the land and setting for myself structures and foundations that would support something worth building, I'd been slaloming through red flags and limboing under behaviours in myself and others that ultimately undermined who I really am and what I want, need and deserve.

And I'm going to be totally honest here - I gave as bad as I got. And I suffered. And wallowed. And I beat myself up for all of it. And then, finally, I did the work. While the cost of not having bottom lines, the steep cost of bobbing and weaving around red flags, is fresh in my mind, I did the work.

This is my list of red flag behaviours, in myself and others, that are bottom line deal breakers. The book says to post them in my house and share them with close friends (committee, are you paying attention?) but I think the more people who know the better. And, since a considerable number of my readers are single women, I'm guessing that there's one or two people who might glean something useful from my stripping naked here.

Just to clarify, these are warning signs that I've previously ignored or rationalised in myself and others. This is not (just) finger pointing. And it's a work in progress.

*deep breath*

I will end the relationship if ...
  • I sacrifice my own needs or values to attract, keep or please someone
  • he makes excuses for ignoring me or for not responding to communication in a reasonable time
  • he stands me up/cancels plans
  • he talks about how attractive another woman is while on a date with me
  • he checks his email or Facebook or answers texts while we are on a date (yes, that one cuts both ways)
  • I 'mark my territory' on his Facebook page or when we're out in public (as opposed to just freely expressing affection)
  • I go somewhere because I think he'll be there, not because it's something I'd do anyway
  • I cancel time I've set aside for myself
  • I cancel time I've set aside for my family and friends
  • he has money or time constraints that get in the way of creating increasing levels of intimacy with me
  • he expects me to pay on dates (I'm not saying I'll never pay for things - it's the expectation that's a red flag)
  • I use physical intimacy to manipulate his level of interest
  • he deflects conversations about the relationship when I express concerns
  • he does not introduce my to his friends OR I am hesitant to introduce him to mine
  • I am unclear of the status or nature of the relationship
  • I am insecure in the relationship and cannot tell where I stand
  • he isn't TOTALLY lit up by being with me*

I was thinking today as I helped BB2 clean his current apartment (he moves to new digs tomorrow), how important it is to leave things better than you found them. This is true for back country camping, or public bathrooms, or rental homes. And it's even more true with people - if the time you've spent with someone hasn't left them feeling appreciated, valued and more powerful in their life, what the hell are you doing?

And, I can really see that I haven't done that - certainly not for Cowboy, and maybe not for other lovers either. It's an uncommon thing to do, to be able to end a relationship and still have the other person know how amazing they are. And I'm truly grateful for the fantastic men in my life who have done that (I think you know who you are - if not message me and I'll let you know). Interestingly, they are also the exes who I still call my friends - it didn't work out because it didn't work out, but they and I get to be known and appreciated in spite of that. And, it turns out that I have until now had higher standards for friends than I do lovers.

So there's one more thing I'm changing in this year of endless changes.

And as for the rest of you ... well ... YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
* in my favourite moment in The Switch, my beloved Jason Batemen gets this totally dorky smile on his face when he gets a voice mail from the girl he adores. I don't think a dorky smile is too much to ask ... in fact, it's now a requirement!

Monday, August 30, 2010

With Gratitude for the Generosity of Being Seen

When it seems like nobody knows you, it's easy to feel like a cipher in the world. Invisible - despite size (and sometimes because of it). Despite bright clothing and a constant quest for the footlights. Despite a sparkling wit, or attempts to same.

But if just one person is able to look at you. And to hear what you haven't said. Or to see what you thought was hidden. If an off-hand comment reveals a life-time of truth stretching out in both directions. Then, well, then the you-shaped void walking around in the world fills suddenly with soil and sunshine and becomes a garden brimming with light and life.

I have someone in my life (several someone's, in fact - I am truly blessed) who has consistently seen me for some time. Reliably. Frustratingly so. Often when I don't see myself. I hope he knows what a gift that is. And that I too see him.

This is for him.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you

And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Sunday, August 29, 2010

If You Really Knew Me

I'm watching this awesome TV show called "If You Really Knew Me" which has a service/support team go into schools in crisis and has the kids share the stuff they never get to say to anyone. The kids share in small groups and to each other what it's really like to be them. The homecoming queen who was teased and insulted and told she didn't deserve to win. The class clown who can't remember the last time he saw his homeless mom, and watched his caretaker Grandma die. Reconciliation, realisation, recognition.

During a 'Challenge Day', the students meet in the gym and are called forward to 'cross the line' if they've been bullied, if they are or are close to someone who's gay, if they don't remember or aren't living with their parents - they  numbers who cross are supported and encouraged by those who can now see them as more than their labels. And the numbers are surprisingly vast. Most moving for me, they asked kids to cross the line if they'd had the chance to really be a kid when they were little, to play, and laugh and be worry free. A surprising number of students couldn't cross the line, and that was perhaps the most heart-breaking moment - to have a whole row of 17 and 18 year olds who had never gotten to be kids. And to have all the kids who did have that chance look back across at them and really see each other for once.

I realise, while watching, that this is not a habit only of teenagers. How often do we as adults fail to see each other as people, to judge without wondering about what the impact is on the other person. Or fail to share what's really going on for us that might make a difference in what's going on for them.

And of course I can't help thinking what difference might it have made for the BBs if someone in their schools had seen them as something more than the labels they were saddled with. Would they have felt more welcome? More free to be themselves? Would they have been more willing to ask for what the needed from their friends and the teachers? Would the teachers have seen them as worth the effort?

Yep, it's an MTV show for kids. And I love it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

To Market To Market

I just spent the most lovely, leisurely day doing my weekly shopping. Living in Victoria we are extremely blessed in many ways, including shoppingly (yes, that's another made-up word).

Today's shopping included a stroll through a neighbourhood weekend market and bumping into old friends, a lunch in the country with Maureen, visiting both a spirits distillery (YUM!!) and a brand-new winery (lovely wine; stunning vineyard), purchasing flowers and produce from a therapeutic farm that is creating homefulness, and multiple sudden stops (and looping turn-arounds) at farm markets.

Unpacking my market bags just now, I was surprised and delighted to re-find all my assorted treasures from the day, including local, organic potatos, sunflowers, kale, lettuce, Mennonite pork sausage, tomatoes, red pepper, green onion; local and decadent smoked canned salmon, peaches and dark chocolate turtles; local and creative cedar blocks,  unsweetened raspberry jam, and gluten-free cranberry banana and corn jalapeno muffins.

What a great way to spend a Saturday. So much more rewarding than just what shows from my overflowing market bags.

Now, if you'll excuse me - a corn jalapeno muffin and just-ripe peach are calling my name.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Have GOT to be Kidding Me

I just had a TERRIBLE thought. Mostly just terrible in that it is, at this point in my life, completely inconceivable.

There was a twinge of the thought (one I QUICKLY surpressed) strolling by this spot this afternoon:

And then checking out Terrible Truffles website just now I stumbled innocently on a decidely not truffle-related page, and the thought caught me completely unawares and knocked me into blogging mode. As though it actually had some sort of force of its own!

Some stupid, untamed, short-memoried part of me actually WANTS to be married again.

At this point I'm going to assume that in actual fact some stupid, untamed, short-memoried part of me actually  just wants a pretty dress and some fondant icing.

Because, as the bumper sticker says, 'Don't believe everything you think!"

Damn it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stumbling towards Ecstasy

or, Even a Stumble is (usually) a Forward Step.

You may have heard rumours, dear reader, of my having abandoned my man fast. You may have noticed a brief elevation in tone, followed by a quiet period (if you don't have anything nice to say about yourself ...). Yes. I confess. I broke my man fast.  And not for any good reason other than because I could, I wanted to, and somebody whose opinion I value thought the whole thing was stupid to begin with (I may not have told him the whole concept) and validated my wanting to break my promise to myself.

And what I've noticed after a brief foray in the candy shop of dating, is that pretty quickly it got stale and unfulfilling. Mostly because pretty soon I was right back in to my gorge & purge routine, stuffing in all the treats without taking time for the substantive nutrition that I need right now.

It's been a good lesson. I'm not sure how many times I have to re-take this lesson, but it was still just there waiting for me, so I got to take it over again. Groundhog's Day for the heart (truth be told, my heart was never anywhere near this experiment - how could it be??).

So, it's back to the drawing board. What was missing from the man fast is that it quickly turned into a rule (and we all know I like to break those) I'd sentenced myself to instead of being about an opportunity for me to focus on myself for a while.

Miss Lady (bless her all-knowing, all-seeing heart) mentioned on Sunday an idea she has for us women types that it's about time we start to realise that until we love ourselves it doesn't matter how much someone else wants to love us, we're never going to see/feel/experience it. This is likely not a new or novel concept to most of us, but it felt new at the time.

And then, later that day, elbow deep in cleaning my neglected apartment, I thought something I've never thought before. Ever.


I don't mean I deserver better in a partner, though to be honest I often deserve that too. Mostly I deserve more from myself. More than settling for scraps of attention when what I want is respect and interest and, ultimately, partnership and passion. I deserve better than trying to make something work with whoever comes along. And most of all I deserve better from myself than selling out, stepping over, pretending it's okay, and 'forgetting' that I said I'd eat well, exercise, focus on the things I love, manage my money for experiences I crave and items I adore, and truly learn to take care of myself instead of hoping someone else wants the job.

I'll be frank - this is not a really awesome time in my life to be single. If there was ever a time when I wanted someone I could count on to just hold me, or to do the dishes, or to bring over some Thai take out and sit with me on the couch to eat it, this would be the time. But I don't have that. What I do have is a ginormous loving family and the most fantastic friends ever. And they're going to be with me through the next few months. They might not cuddle up with me in bed at night, but I bet they'll call, and buy me gluten-free cookies, and refresh my flowers if I forget to buy fresh ones.

I am single. And today I am lonely. But most days I am merely alone. And never more than a blog post, tweet, facebook note, email, stroll down the hall or phone call away from someone who loves me.

And while we're on the subject - this is a really lovely video:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

TI♥T: Having my own personal diva

For just this one little moment I'm going to take my navel-inspecting magnifying glass off my own rotund belly and focus on someone who really shines in the spotlight - the amazing Maureen Washington.I think I might have mentioned Maureen in the past sometime - she's someone who, since I was 12 years old, I've stood somewhat in awe of - listening to her belt out some gospel hit of the 80's at our summer camp (and always sharing Momma Barb's care package cookies).

In the last few years I've gotten to know Maureen better, both personally and professionally. Through some pretty hard times. And some pretty great ones. There are two things I know about Maureen:

She SINGS like nobody else - full-voiced, full-hearted, full of soul
She LOVES like nobody else - if you are her friend, her child, her brother, her momma you have an unshakable warrior in your corner, or a laugh, or a hug.
I could go on. But I really think that instead you should just go to one of her shows and hear for yourself. Because every audience member gets the same voice, the same heart, and the same love as the rest of us.

Check out her shows here: http://www.reverbnation.com/maureenwashington
Or you can give her a Christmassy listen here Santa Baby

I promise you'll see why I ♥ Moe

Friday, August 13, 2010

That's What He Said

I had an unexpected and always welcome call the other night with someone who knows me better, deeper, wider, and stronger than most. Someone who has the unerring ability to simultaneously make me laugh, cry and think. And who has perfect aim when it comes to putting his finger directly on my most tender spot and making it throb.

He said one thing in this particular conversation that has resounded in my head: "What are you talking about?" he said when I expressed doubt about being able to handle everything that sits before me, "You've always been able to handle everything you take on - more than anyone else I know."

I'm not sure why that brought me to tears. Or why it's been echoing since our conversation. Maybe just because of the gap between how he sees me and how I see myself. Or maybe because there's always a small piece of me that wonders why, if he thinks so highly of me, he's there and I'm here. But mostly I wonder why I don't see what he sees. I suppose partly it's because I know I can handle it all, I just get tired of doing it on my own.

But there's something else too ... and I wish I could see clearly what that is. It all makes me think of my old friend Pooh bear. Only I don't know in this case if I'm the one with very little brain. Or the very timid friend. And I don't know which one he is either. But I do know that I'm blessed with friends who believe in me when I run out. And that sometimes that's enough to keep me going.

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh,” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

TI♥T: My Town

Tonight I got to learn about my town. Or, more specifically, about the food and drink trends in my town. I attended my first of what I imagine will be many Pecha Kucha nights - a high-energy night of presentations about people's passions, in this case themed around food. At least mostly that's what it was about - I'm not sure how a couple of the presentations related.

Pecha Kucha is exactly the kind of collaborative, casual, fluid night that makes Victoria such a great town to live in.

What was really neat for me was having our Executive Chef from work there and hearing about what he learned, getting his feedback on some of the stuff he liked or didn't like about the night, and just generally seeing him enjoy a night that's all about what he's really passionate about.

And that I could be his access to a night like that makes me smile.

That I could also go and learn about some of the amazing movements happening right here in my quaint little town, and realise that we are in some ways on the cutting edge of the slow food or local or raw or cocktail movements.

The next Pecha Kucha is in November, and I look forward to being there - whether as a presenter or a supporter remains to be seen. :)

And also, there were free cocktails at the end of the night. That's actually not that great an idea, though they were amazing. :) Clearly the bartender from Clive's, who presented on Victoria's burgeoning cocktail culture, was out to create converts of us all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Swirling Morass

I'm not sure what happened. Somewhere between the freedom, joy and creativity of last night and this moment, the light dimmed. No, it's somewhat worse than that. The cold and fog began to creep in sometime this afternoon, filtering the edges that had been clear, and obscuring what's so. It began to block the light. I could sense the change in the atmosphere, but couldn't remember how to turn back towards the sun.

It was ever thus: the encroaching of the swirling morass. Beginning in drifts and flutterings, and building mass and depth until I forget to see other things.

Really, I'm just tired. And a little lonely. And wondering if it was very clever of me to make all the changes I've made in the last few months right on top of each other. But that other stuff sounds so much MORE, doesn't it? And I have been working at actually writing again, thanks to SC2 and her friends SpecialK, so the flourishes naturally creep into  the words.

Anyway. After choir tonight I hung out for a bit with my always awesome Funk Soul Brother, and I couldn't help but remember who I am, looking at this, one of the few pieces of public art I like in my city:  

Little birds speak to me right now as I adjust to my empty nest and stand back to watch my fledglings test their wings. Sometimes what looks like a swirling morass might actually just be an intricate take-off.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

I am sitting on my living room floor on a somewhat itchy hand-knotted Moroccan wool rug. I'm in my oldest, most comfortable, yet somehow still flattering nightgown. I have my laptop in (where else) my lap. iTunes is playing new music - songs I've never yet heard (I can practically feel the new neural pathways forming. Did you know new music does that?). I'm eating air-popped popcorn - moderately buttered, and lightly salted. I'm slowly sipping an ice-cold vodka, club soda and lemon juice. The bunny hops by, sometimes tickling my toes. Sometimes just announcing his movements with the clattering of his claws on the laminate floors (he misses BB2 and makes due with my limited company. I miss BB2 and make due with the nose tickles of the bunny).

And life is perfect.

I have remembered, tonight, certain dreams. Dreams that are more than just nebulous embroyonic thoughts  drifting in my mental amniotic fluids. Dreams that had/have pathways meandering through them. Dreams that connect and diverge and morph and grow. Dreams that are scalable, replicatable, and monetizable. Dreams that have domain names and toddling business plans. Dreams that in fact are not dreams at all but that are projects and promises ... one might even call them 'evil plans' if one wasn't more interested in creating goodness.

They got put aside, boxed up and stuffed in a corner to make room for moving, for boys in and out of living rooms, for exciting new jobs with steep learning curves, for exciting new friends with curves of their own. He'll remind me, sometimes, this new friend, that the world is waiting. 'Everyone should have a plan B,' he says. And I, wordy girl that I am, know that I could have a whole alphabet frieze of a plan book, and that all the letters could play together in sesquipedalian splendour.

I worked a couple extra hours today. I went straight on to a 3 hour seminar. And I am right now completely awake and alive and eager to create.

Even wordy creative girls need their sleep though. So that they have all the more energy to create again tomorrow. And so, with Angry Alligators and Zany Zebras dancing through my dreamscape, I sleep to plan another day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fall on Your Knees: Review

I went to my first book club meetup tonight. To be honest, I've as much to review about the book club as I have about the book, but ... first things first.

View on Amazon
When I first signed up, thanks to SC2's suggestion, for the book club meetup group, I thought I recognized this month's designated book as one I've already read. I scanned through my past 'reading' posts to see if I could remind myself what I'd thought the first time through, but I didn't see it there. That means that either I read it prior to 2005 when I started blog reviewing the books I read, or that I read it and merely forgot to blog about it. Either is equally likely.

The book in question is Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall On Your Knees, a depressing, dark, relentlessly uredeeming tale of one Cape Breton's family's insistance on being really really messed up. It is also a brilliant, poetic, bouyant story of harsh landscapes with the edges worn off by the sea, and imaginative, resilient children who make the inadequacies of their parents sparkle. As I re-read the book, I couldn't remember what was coming next, which is a huge testament to MacDonald's writing, since with most books I can anticipate much of the plot even on a first reading.

The main family of characters are almost without exception people you wouldn't want your child dating. But most of them also have depth and humour and creativity and spirit that makes them someone you want to cheer for. And passages such as

Following the ocean a good part of the way, James discovered that there is nothing so congenial to lucid thought as a clear view of the sea. It aired his mind, tunes his nerves and scoured his soul. He determined always to live in sight of it.
have a rhythm and beauty that keep you reading even when sometimes you don't want to. It wouldn't be unfair to compare this novel to the proverbial trainwreck - you don't want to keep looking, but you just can't tear yourself away.

I can't say whether I'd recommend this book to a friend. The writing is undeniably beautiful, but there were times when the story literally made me feel a bit sick. There's enough nastiness in the world - I don't think it's necessary to make up more.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

TI♥S: Sean & Xiole

So it's Saturday, not Thursday, and I'm finally writing about what I love. I thought about writing on Thursday. I meant to write. I made notes about what I 'should' and could write about. But there was nothing new. Things have been a little tense of late; I have a few different things I'm managing & dealing with & concerned about, and it felt like work to come up with something I ♥ besides what I've already recently blogged about: my BBs, my new work, writing.

But tonight I'm clear - I love love. Witnessing it. Sharing in it. Standing for it. And in particular, I love the celebration of Sean and Xiole's love that I was blessed to attend this evening. It was fun. And authentic. And uniquely Sean and Xiole. In a yard full of apples, and pears, and tents, and flowers, and brimming with cupcakes and champagne and Celtic music, their friends, and families and "exes who have become friends and family" bore witness to a beginning that I hope will never end.

Xiole made her own lovely, unique, one-of-a-kind satin and lace gown, and wore it with army boots against the muck of our only wet day in weeks. A true Texan, she sang to her new husband a fine Texan serenade: "Love at the Five and Dime." And Sean watched and smiled and was moved to tears. They danced, and poured their guests champagne while checking in with us. And were fully themselves together.

Sometimes I can be a bit cynical about love (yes, I realise anybody who has read more than one post on here is pretty clear about my cynicism about love). But today my friend Sean married the love of his life. And seeing them together tonight, sharing that celebration with us all, I realised ... I want to sing to someone and have him be moved to tears. I want to be with someone whose face lights up when he talks about me, whether I'm in ear shot or not.

I also got to catch up tonight with my newly-wed friends Mr. & Mrs. F. To hear how married life is going for them. And to get some insights from Mr. F. on love, relationships, marriage, and keeping things in perspective. I have to say, I think that Mr. F. is a pretty clever guy.

Sometimes I go to a wedding and it's all about the clothes, or the spectacle, or the gluten-free cupcakes (a trend of which I highly approve, by the way). But so far this year I am 2 for 2 in attending weddings that re-teach me about love, and friendship, and commitment. And that is something for which I will always be grateful.

Blessings to Sean and Xiole. And thank you again for sharing your day with me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More on Love. Say it fast ;-)

I was grabbed once again, today, by a Gaping Void work. I'm not sure how I missed this when it came out in Hugh's newsletter - perhaps I wasn't so engrossed at the time in philosophizing on love, culture and what it all does and doesn't mean. Perhaps I wasn't so consumed with trying to figure it/myself out.

For whatever reason, I overlooked this lovely, breezy eureka of a print when it was sent out, only to experience one of those brief, rare, incalculable moments when I saw it today: a moment that was simultaneously a sigh and a smile of recognition.
I love the lightness of this cartoon - the grey and blue. The space to fly. And I love the optimism of the phrase, the prayer-like clarion call with a slight suggestion of urgency to act.

And, since I'm reminded at work every day that "Love is the Bottom Line," living consistent with acts of love seems to just make sense.

It's hard to remember that in amongst all the reading and talking and cogitating, the most important part of living from love is to act. My mind need not agree - I can simply act. And fly.

Monday, August 2, 2010

roses are red. Bora Bora is blue.

I am not someone who watches The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. Which is not to pretend that I've never seen an episode or two - in fact I'm watching the finale and after show of the current season as I write this - I'm merely saying that I've never be someone who can extend my suspension of disbelief far enough to make room for the idea that such a contrived and staged concept could ever lead to a deep and committed connection.

There. I’ve said it.

My friend SC2 swears by it - is borderline addicted in fact - and I certainly wouldn't want to step on her toes on this matter. However, here I sit, wondering if it's TV shows about love that I don't believe in, or the 'romanticized' version of love that we are inundated with across our culture. Or in fact if they are part of the same issue.

Being given a rose. Or escaping to Tahiti. Or having a cornucopia of accomplished, attractive, successful men lined up fighting for you is great. I certainly don't want to dissuade anyone who is inclined towards buying me flowers of any sort, or taking me to exotic locales, or rounding up a plethora of intelligent, amiable, hotties. And having an hourglass figure, smooth skin, perky bouncy breasts and hair that never grays would also be great, but I can't for a moment believe that any of that has to do with love, fulfillment, or satisfaction.

Love me, love my belly. And at least get to know me.

The best I know of love is this: my parents met when they were 10 & 11. Sometimes they ignored each other in Sunday School and sometimes Dad got to walk Mom home. They dated, and broke up and dated some more in high school. And broke up some more. Until Grandma said marry her or quit it.

They married (thanks for that!), they raised 3 daughters through laughter and tears and frustration and fear and proud moments and worry. I think that sometimes they probably felt like they hated each other. Or at least were bone-weary of each other. And yet, they worked through it. They read or prayed or took courses or went away for the weekend. And they worked it through. And sometimes even now, after 20 or so homes, and 5 grandkids, and more sons-in-law than daughters, they work it through. And they laugh. And dad pats mom on the behind when he's feeling playful. And they bicker (though they will insist it's not bickering) and they travel and keep on. Mom makes boiled raisin cake with burnt-sugar frosting for dad’s birthday. And dad buys mom beautiful presents for hers.

I've never been able to pretend that it's been easy for my parents - or my aunts & uncles, or my grandparents, all of whom took the ‘work it through’ road - to put their commitment ahead of their feelings. I know that walking away is less difficult, in the moment, than staying for 48 years. But easy doesn't have anything to do with love either.

And, I would take the model laid by my parents any day over the TV 'unscripted' romance, the ball gowns, the roses. I know that from where I am now whatever love I create won't be the same story as the model that has worked for my parents. And I'll take 'getting to know you' and conversation and working things through any time.
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