Thursday, October 18, 2012

Llama Limbo*

It has occurred to me recently that some of my standards are rather off the norm.  For example, I find myself dating a disproportionate number of fixer-uppers, people who are still getting over troubled pasts, people who trail hurt and disappointment behind them like a bouquet of deflated balloons.

I don't see warning signs the way other people do.  He used to shoot heroin?  That's interesting.  My Chicagofriend snorted cocaine once, through a hundred-dollar bill, off the breasts of his girlfriend, the porn star, the one he dumped to date me the second time.**  That's interesting, too.

And the thing is, Chicagofriend is someone I greatly admire.  He's got his shit together.  But he has stories.  He has a checkered past, legally, romantically, etc.  We went to high school together until the time he put a bomb on a school bus and got taken away in handcuffs.  And so when I meet someone with stories like that, I'm not alarmed.  I've known amazing people with stories.

The problem is that not everyone is Chicagofriend.  Some people are sad-balloon people, but I don't see it.  And when I start to see it I'm so busy understanding and not judging that I still don't see the balloons. 

When I tell people that I broke up with my boyfriend, they ask how he took it.  And I think, he's miserable.  But he didn't threaten me with a knife.  That's something, right?  Because my fiancée did that once.  I think he wanted to be someone who might do something drastic more than he actually wanted to hurt anyone.  But he had a knife and he was sobbing and hysterical and I was scared.  This is the standard I judge breakups by. 

*A real competition at the Iowa State Fair.
**And, by the way, he dumped a porn star to date me.  I should remember that more often.

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