My boyfriend/fiancé/best friend has been so for almost 8 years now. We met right about the time we both turned 22. We’ve spent almost all of our twenties together. AKA, our sexual primes. I have plenty of relationship stories, but I’m not going to tell any of those now. Now, I’m going to tell you a story that happened during the 4 months we were “separated” in the summer of 2011.
I’m going to change almost all of the names, places, and even some of the details of this story as some of the people who read my blog at this point would definitely be able to figure out who this is about. I’m obligated to leave the innocent protected because I’ve been told I should write a movie or book about this at a later time. I’m taking a great risk here, but, THIS is a story that must be told. This is dedicated to every girl I know that has that one, single man in their life that is a COMPLETE fantasy. Whether it is a celebrity, someone you went to high school with, the hot cashier at Whole foods, or whoever. It is pure fantasy and would likely be ruined if you ever managed to score an actual date with this guy. Surely, the first delayed phone response or fart would ruin your entire, personal, lady mental world. My point is that it should remain just that, a fantasy. Because, and I hope I’m not REALLY crushing anyone’s dreams here, that IS all IT is.
His name was Jerrod Finkley. (Ha ha. No, not really. What a stupid fake name.) In high school, Jerrod was an athlete, at the top of his class, and drop dead, mouth-wateringly, out of this world, stupid gorgeous AND 2 years older than me. In high school, I was totally awkward, had a white girl fro, and was often mistaken for a boy. I was just lucky my best friend was beautiful, popular, and talented, for this is why high school was not a total failure for me. I was also lucky in that I was also a little talented myself. It allowed me to be a part of our varsity Pom team, our dance program, our theater program, choir, and the advanced track academic program. (Thank you for my talents, God. For, without them, I would not have survived my teens. My awkward stage lasted from 8-21, guys. It was rough to say the least.) My sophomore year was pretty cool. I was discovering all of the talents I mentioned above and growing out of the phase where I dressed like a thrift store lesbian. Jerrod was a senior. He was one of those completely unapproachable seniors because of all the things I mentioned above. This year was moving along well. In fact, my best friend, Abigail Jenkins, had started dating a senior. He was sort of cool, but most importantly, he was best friends with Jerrod. In the high school world, this meant that as the single “best friends” of a couple who was dating, Jerrod and I HAD to hang out. Jerrod was so nice about it. I knew he was practically doing charity work hanging out with me while Abigail and that guy she dated for a bit made out, but he would even often tell me how cute I was. Oh man, did I mention he was hilarious? I remember that year he was the lead in our school play, yet again proving that he was, hands down, the most talented, perfect being I had ever made contact with. When Abigail broke up with his friend, it was an understatement to say I was devastated. This meant our obligatory hang outs were going to end. My memory gets foggy around this point, but that’s fine because there was really no contact between Jerrod and myself for several years. Screeeeeeeetch, scraaaaaatch, FLASH FORWARD.
My Fiancé and I had broken up. “Fiancé” doesn’t really describe him well enough because we were best friends that put ourselves in a situation that was doomed to fail. We moved from our 3 bedroom home in a suburb of Phoenix to a studio apartment in Hollywood. 1600 square ft to 400 square ft can ruin any relationship. We fought, had no sex, and I thought I needed to find myself. We took a “break” and I made friends, hiked, drank and got the appropriate amount of self definition I felt I needed during this time. On the 15th, an overcast day in April, I was feeling particularly low and had just returned home from my demeaning LA serving job and got a notification that “Jerrod F” had sent me a message on Facebook. I hadn’t seen or heard from Jerrod since high school! What could he possibly have to say?! All I could see of the message on my laptop was “Jerrod F. – I think you are….”……. Ecstatic, I ran, put on my stretchy pants and poured myself the appropriate amount of wine it would take to receive the following message in my FB inbox: Jerrod F- “I think you are gorgeous. I thought it back in high school, and I definitely think it now. I just wanted you to know….” (the same FB font it arrived to me with. CTRL + V’d from the original message. Somehow seems more organic this way. His words are somehow more authentic. I am sure this is how Jerrod would have wanted it.)
I fell out of my chair, stunned with the pure joy the message had brought me. I read it several times to make sure I wasn’t somehow making it up in my brain. Each time, it got better. Rightfully so, I facebook stalked him. Turns out, after pursuing a career in acting, and later a career as a concert Cellist, he was studying in Nowheresville, USA to be a SURGEON! This extraordinary human being not only thought I was “gorgeous,” but took the time out of his very adult, very important life to get onto his computer, click on my name, and send a message saying so. The dorky high-schooler in me was flying high!
I FLOATED around for a whole day. I winked at men that were easily out of my league because Jerrod thought I was “gorgeous!” I mean, WHAT?! Who was I, Reese Witherspoon?! It was a marvelous 24 hours. I begged my new LA lady friends for feedback on how I should respond. The response had to be the right amount of casual and clever to leave his Midwestern-ass spellbound. After much debate, on April 16th, I responded: “I don't know what prompted such a sweet message, but it could not have come at a better time. So, thank you! And you're not so bad yourself. I've always thought so.”
Ha Ha. The perfect, casual retort. It looked as though I was carrying on a lifestyle that was both too busy to leave a more, involved thought out response and too self-involved to leave a more “I fucking LOVE YOU! I HAVE FOR YEARS!” response. Oh my, I was just fantastic.
Then a day or two went by. I had not gotten a response. I checked my internet connection. It seemed to be working normally. Yet, I had received no response. Was I crazy? I would read over our exchange on FB just to ensure it had actually taken place, and my own response to make sure I had said nothing crazy or silly….. No response.
Finally, on the evening of April 19th, I got the notification he had responded on my phone on the way home from an audition in my car. I started to breathe at an accelerated rate. I waited until I got home and snuggled under the warmth of my covers to read what would surely be the start of our romantic, facebook relationship. The message said, “Are you going through a bad time?” Oh, Ok. Um…… How deep should I get here? I mean, he WAS asking for it, wasn’t he? I’d had a glass of wine or two in me so I responded immediately because I have no patience sober, let alone a little tipsy. Later on in the evening of April 19th, I wrote: “Not a 'bad' time necessarily. My fiance and I are separating after 6 years.... its tough and exciting all at the same time. Just moved to LA 7 months ago, so I'm pretty excited at the thought of taking it on alone. Its just that, after six years, you gotta wonder if you still got it goin' on, you know? The compliment was nice to hear.” (I’d decided to use a lot of shortened, ebonic like words to keep it super casual. Like, whatev.) I mean, YOU asked for it, Jerrod. I responded immediately because I felt you’d asked for it. This was the relationship YOU had asked for. I slept soundly that evening knowing full well I’d wake up to a prompt response from him because we were definitely THERE facebook relationship-wise.
Morning came and no response. Fine, he was busy. I was busy. No big deal…. Days went by. It was driving me nuts! Occupying my every thought! I would show a picture of him to my friends just so they would have an idea of the ordeal I was going through. When they saw the photo of the tan, blue-eyed, surgeon Adonis, they would pat me on the back and “Aaaaww” with sympathy. It was only so reassuring, and then, on the morning of the 23rd of April, 2011, I received this reply: “I could easily love you”
W….. T….. F…..?
Seriously, W…. T…. F…..?
I showed this response to almost everyone I knew. I even used it as a way to reconnect with people from high school because it was so astonishing. Everyone was blown away. He was…. Oh my…. And I was just…. normal and he said “I could easily love you. “ What did it mean? He could “easily love” ME? How should I respond to this, “I could easily love you, too?” Was he joking? I mean, it’s a weird thing to say. He had to be joking. I decided after much debate to keep my response ambiguous. This time, I was definitely NOT stupid enough to respond the same day so I waited. His average wait time was 3 days, so I was going to wait at least that. I debated with friends on what my reply should be and took some time for myself. I got a massage, a mani/pedi, got some work done and exactly 72 hours after “I could easily love you” arrived into my facebook message inbox, I responded with the artfully crafted, well thought out, 5th and final draft of “Aaannddd, so when will you be in Los Angeles next?”
It was perfect. It showed my interest. It was funny. It was casual, just in case this was all a joke. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?! I was beginning to pack for Nowheresville, USA. It was sounding really awesome with that one kind of cool landmark it had and the great schools it had for our future, tan, blue-eyed, curly-haired genius children. Who needed my acting/dancing/singing/writing career here in LA? I could have a SURGEON! I could be trophy wife, right? Sure. I would have to lose my brassy, no BS attitude along with the rest of my personality, but he was a beautiful, like take a “Happy Mother’s Day to Mrs. Finkley” add out in the West Valley View for simply creating such an amazingly perfect human being, kind of beautiful. I know a girl or two who would definitely go in on that add with me.
I was no idiot. I kept myself busy for the next few days knowing I would receive no response for at least 3-4 days. Whatever. No Big. I was busy, living my awesome, new, LA life. I did everything I could to avoid Facebook so, after 72 hours, I would casually catch whatever reply he decided to send. May 1st brought this response: “ you mean you won't be coming to Nowheresville anytime soon?? J” Ha! A smiley face? I knew where this was going. I was practically engaged to this man. I dreamed of my friends from back home saying things like, “Did you hear Andrea and Jerrod are getting married?” “Yeah, I hear he drove all the way out to LA without stopping, picked her up, carried her out to the beach in Santa Monica, got down on one knee an proposed to her while dolphins sang and star fish mated on the shore.” “Yeah, I hear she said, Yes.” “Yeah, she is most definitely not the less-attractive one in that relationship.”
Ha ha. Jealous bitches. I clicked the locks on my suitcase as I composed what would surely be my last facebook reply. Phone numbers had to be exchanged at this point and our amazing, one-on-one conversations had to begin to start making our children. I sent the, OH SO clever : “Well, it is a shame that there isn't much to do in Nowheresville because I have a feeling you and I would have fun. ....
and just a reminder, I have the beach. LA-1 Nowheresville-0”
and just a reminder, I have the beach. LA-1 Nowheresville-0”
I couldn’t wait to begin our romance. We would tell our grandchildren about the cute, archaic, facebook exchange that got us together. I waited for his reply that would surely give me directions to his place in Nowheresville.
Turns out, I was going to wait a long time. A week passed. Did I say something wrong? Had I been too sarcastic? Men have complained about this trait in me before. Two weeks passed. Ok. Perhaps he was busy with doctor school or something. Yeah, that was it. Doctor finals. Then I began to go through all the stages of grief. There was some denial, some anger, some tears, but then, I began to realize that this was, of course, not really what I wanted. It was unrealistic. I didn’t want to be anyone’s less attractive, sidekick trophy wife. And, quite frankly, I didn’t want to be anywhere near Nowheresville.
He never responded. A few months later after all of this, my boyfriend and I mended and are now living happily ever after in the best relationship I could ever imagine. Jerrod was the best thing that could’ve happened to me at a really low time in my life. Even now, whenever I’m low, I still look over our FB exchange from more than a year ago and I feel better. I felt beautiful and confident during our Facebook messaging saga. He allowed me to escape to an amazing fantasy world where I felt feminine and beautiful and I was treasured for it. But, Jerrod was just that, a fantasy. I’m happy to have him stay that way. In my world, Jerrod doesn’t fart, leave his shit everywhere, or call me crazy AND he returns my texts in a timely manner. It still bothers me at how perfect he seems to be. According to FB, He’s started is residency, has a great girlfriend, is a great friend to his friends, is a great son, blah, blah. It’s unreal. But that’s fine. I prefer him to stay that way. Unreal.
I have a friend that knows both Jerrod and I from high school and she and I sat a few weeks ago over hamburgers and talked about how we would pull that lady astronaut, no-stopping, wear a diaper shit if Jerrod said, “Come to Nowheresville today.” I definitely have that dedication. Don’t test me. It’s just that, I like my REAL life. It’s pretty cool and hasn’t been shaped by anyone else’s dreams. I have a supportive, challenging, and uplifting partner who farts, leaves his shit everywhere, and takes way too long to reply to a text. In this way, I’m very lucky.