Monday, June 18, 2012

He Just Wasn't Your Lid

An Instant Message conversation with my best friend in late February...

BFF: so how have you been doing?
ME: i'm ok. i guess i miss him.
BFF: what do you miss?
ME: the good parts i guess, the little things, the good things. just not all of it.
ME: not the whole magilla
BFF: yeah.
ME: the whole picture wasn't really a good one, you know?
BFF: i know. of course not.
ME: i miss the sweet things he did, or the little ways we fit, or laughing with him about something.  
ME: just the good stuff. but i dont miss all the fighting.
BFF: of course not! 
BFF: that must be a relief. 
ME: it really is actually. im so relived. its pretty wonderful to not have to fight with someone
BFF: i bet!
ME: i hope he realizes that too.
BFF: i know
BFF: he just wasn't your lid.
ME: exactly
BFF: i love that your mom says that.
BFF: there's a lid for every pot. i had never heard that before you said it!

ME: i know! its true tho. he wasn't the lid to my pot.
ME: he wasn't mine
ME: and i wasn't his.

Break-ups are hard and I think they're hard for this very reason. Eventually, you can come to understand that the relationship had to end, it wasn't working, it was broken. Your head can think that, but your heart of course has other plans. In the months following this recent break-up, I found that I did miss my ex quite a bit, every day. I missed the all small moments, the good things, the happy times, the ways we fit in ways I never expected to fit with anyone. What we did have, when it was good, was very special to me and I missed all of it. So much so that I eventually found myself stringing together the good times into a better narrative, one where we were happily skipping down the road in perfect harmony, and I thought for a second that, Hey! If we were so goddamn happy then we must have made a mistake by breaking up!

Um, no. Not reality.

After a little while of doing this, I remembered that I'd done this exact same thing before. After break-ups in the past, I'd start retelling the story of the relationship to myself in a much more idyllic way. But that wasn't the truth in the past and it wasn't the truth with this one either. The truth was that we disappointed each other almost constantly and we weren't very happy with each other outside of those good moments. Breaking up was the right thing. For both of us.

One of the things my mom has always said is, "There's a lid for every pot." Meaning there's someone for everyone. I like to think that's true, or at least I certainly hold onto the idea that I haven't yet met my lid.


My best friend and I have this ongoing joke about how her son is a genius and is potentially psychic. He's three. I know every parent says their kid is off-the-charts, bordering on genius, is calculating quantum theory in their cribs alongside their Everyone Poops book. But here's the thing, he is surprisingly smart for a three year old. And that's not just because I love and adore him beyond words. He has this amazing memory that's almost kinda eerie. He remembers things that happened to him a year ago, when he was two. This, and a slew of other super smart things he's said in the past, has fueled an ongoing joke between us that he's so super smart that he knows things are going to happen before they do. Like he has psychic abilities. He "knows" things. (We find creative ways to amuse ourselves, what can I say.)

A month before my break-up, she called me and told me about the latest cute thing he had just done. She said she had been walking around the grocery store with him and when they walked down an aisle that had kitchen utensils, baking sheets, etc, he apparently grabbed a pot from the bottom shelf and declared, "Auntie V needs this pot! We need to get it for her!" (That's me, I'm Auntie V to him.) Why a pot? Out of all the things in a store he could want to get for me -- and he certainly could have chosen candy since my name is pretty much synonymous with candy to this kid (I've been the giver of much candy in his life) -- why did he choose a pot?

It's because he KNEW I had not found my lid yet (or pot for that matter). He knew I was searching for it and wanted me to find it. To tell you the truth, I knew it too. I knew I hadn't found my lid yet.

My three year old nephew was right, as he usually is. I trust that kid. He "knows" things. And, as I'm starting to remember it now, I do too.

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