Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Thought - Beware the Baggage


So I was having coffee with New Dude and my mind was actually on about twenty different things. I finally noticed that he was silent and looking at me with arched brow. 

"So what's up?" He asked.

I shook my head. "Nothing just working through some stuff in my head."

"Like what?"

"I don't want to bother you with it." I shrugged.

He got super still and said. "But that's what I'm here for. To be bothered. I'm trying to be bothered."

Uh-oh. He pulled out the "tart" tone of voice. "Um. Okay."

"I'm not clueless or incapable of picking up on signs. You've got trust issues and you rarely take things at face value. You don't pour out your feelings or wear your heart on your sleeve. I get that. But damn, I'm trying to earn your trust here. I'm trying to be that guy. Put you first, pay attention, the whole nine but you gotta give me a chance."

"I do, I mean... I am!"

"You know half the time you are giving me a side-eye just waiting for me to say or do something terrible. And I have to literally pry thoughts and feelings out of you. I'm feeling like the chick. Sucks and it's unsettling."

"No. I don't really, do I?" I thought about it, winced. Owned it. "Damn it, I might. That's terrible. I'm sorry. I'm overly cautious probably."

"Michele, you're gun-shy as hell."

"Or we could call it that. I'll do better."

"I mean, I'm generally a nice guy."

"You are."

"But I already know you well enough to know that you were dying to tack on 'so far' at the end of that sentence."

I really had wanted to. It was on the tip of my tongue. "It's gonna take some mental adjustment. I appreciate the patience."

He smiled. "If you weren't cute I would have given up weeks ago."

"Ha! Wait, what?"

"Joking."

"You got jokes."

"Okay then, so what were you thinking about?"

And I told him. I talked for close to an hour straight. (Hey, he asked) I talked about family and finances and sports and weather and epic fail of the NAACP (whole other topic). And he was so happy that I was "letting him in", he had this huge smile on his face. When we got up to leave, he gave me this huge tight hug. 

I felt like pure shiggity. Without really realizing it, I'd kind of been perching on the edge of this relationship (not even wanting to call it a relationship) with one foot in and one foot already out just in case it all imploded. He knew it but didn't say anything until now. If you had asked me if I thought I was dragging baggage from the past into the future, I would have vehemently said no. But there it was. 

Damn baggage. Eventually you have to just let it go. What are ya'lls thoughts on that?

36 comments:

Dash said...

Yes. clean slate. everyone you deem worthy enough to hang out with should get a fair shot. He made it to the date. He shouldn't be on trial. Yet. LOL Enjoy!

ASmith said...

That damn baggage'll creep up on you. You think you left it at the last stop, only to look down and see it right at your feet. A constant companion. I think for some of us, we think we're letting it go not realizing that those defense mechanisms have ingrained themselves into everday thinking and processing, not just when the prospect of a relationship is staring us in the face. Getting rid of baggage takes more deliberate actions than some of us may realize.

Kudos to him for calling you on it, kudos to you for being willing to consider he was right.

BrendaKay51 said...

And the church, choir, chorus, pews, rafters, birds in the rafters, bell and the grass outside says a collective ~ AMEN!

rozb said...

Yay! Breakthrough! I know it's hard, but whenever we move on, we need to really move on. Not just say we're through, but be through. No re-hashing screw-ups or re-visiting old hurts. This way, when a new person comes into our lives, our life is cleared out and we can accept them all the way in without reservation.

Nothing wrong with letting folks in...

Orange Star Happy Hunting said...

I think gaurding one's heart is not only smart it's necessary esp in these days and times.
Dude said he was trying to earn your trust, no harm in letting him do so, one must start somewhere and if he consistently shows you he is about you, and you all's friendship and about his word etc. then gradually you let him in. IDK about you but for me there is no other way, Show is prove!

Tazzee said...

Good stuff, I love it! My hubby's phrase was 'you can't keep making pay another man's tab.' He would say that whenever my baggage would wiggle into our relationship. Thank God he only had to say it twice.

bluassassin said...

Kudos to both of you for having a relationship where you can be open and honest with each other. I like New Dude.

EMD 87 said...

LMAO!!!

Kandia said...

New dude get's the thumbs up.....I like men that want to hear what's going on with you or want you to let them into your inner world.

I do the same thing with the one foot in one foot out just in case they get to acting a fool, I can tip right on out....lol

AppleBerryMIA said...

"Gun-shy as hell" - love it. I thought I was baggage free too until J said something just like my ex and I snapped. Oops.

Salt Water said...

(Lurked for a few months but I don't think I've ever posted here B4)

I agree with OSHH. Nothing wrong with a little self-protection in the first few months. During that time you're not even meeting the person but their representative. Cautiousness isn't necessarily baggage, but in this era of instant intimacy people feel that a person who doesn't divulge everything at will is somehow broken. You shouldn't have to apologize for proceeding at a pace comfortable for you.

Socialitedreams said...

wow, he is seriously getting a high five every time that I read about him. I like new dude :D good luck with him, sounds like a keeeeeper

http://socialitedreams.wordpress.com/

OneChele said...

Thanks for de-lurking!

Eye Candy said...

The fact that both of you let your guard down enough to talk about it says volumes.

Ms_L_Marie said...

Great post :-)
I too have a problem with letting my guard down (call me a natural cynic). I've been trying to get over that but it's hard when people (especially guys) can unapologetically disappoint. It's great that New Dude is patient and it's great that you're willing to let him in. :-)

MochaMuffin said...

Yes yes ya'll. I love a man with a strong (yet pleasant) personality. New Dude don't take no mess. Did you say he had a brother, cousin or something?

GrownAzzMan said...

A little baggage is ok but when it's too big to fit in the overhead compartment...

OneChele said...

Good point. We need a test to check acceptable size of carry-on.

OneChele said...

A brother and several male cousins in fact ;-)

OneChele said...

The phrase "unapologetically disappoint" is post worthy. Let me marinate on that one.

tacita said...

baggage is par for the course. we are the sum of our experiences, i think. i think it's cool that you have this sort of relationship where communication is encouraged.

i don't really know about him saying he "felt like the chick" in terms of getting you to open up. what does that mean? is he saying that it's a man's job to be silent and mysterious while the woman tries to figure him out?

Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! said...

Wow at new dude. I like him. He's very perceptive and that's rare (or is that my baggage talking?). baggage, we all have it. sometimes we carry it insidiously into new venture. I applaud new dude for being patient, and being honest and allowing you to acknowledge it and move forward. I like new dude. tell him I said that, lol

Miss-Devin Kemp said...

*sigh* perhaps I need to move as there are no "New Dudes" in my area...plenty of Tyrones and Pookies though.....

Evansaw said...

That guy is sounding better and better, hope it works out for you, girl...

FreeBlackMan said...

Or if she's dragging a whole 10 piece set with her/

Suebhoney1125 said...

Lovin New Dude! (He got a brother?-lol) I swear sometimes I feel related to you. LOL! But glad you acknowledged it and is working to do better. I'm still working on mine.

Hidi said...

" Eventually you have to just let it go." This sums it up. Sometimes we think we got rid of our bags but it's the "thing" we keep tripping over. Your new dude sounds like a very cool dude so I wish you both happiness together. :)

Lisalis said...

Too true, too true. And I'm co-signing with all of the "good luck" and "congratulations" wishes from my fellow commenters :)

The problem I've found with baggage is 1) I can't usually tell I'm carrying it (Kudos to New Dude for recognizing yours and calling you out on it lovingly! Girl, how can you resist him!) and 2) "setting it down" is easier said than done.

For me, it took me taking responsibility for EVERYTHING that's happened in past relationships (not blame, not fault) to free me up. When I saw how I created the relationships (or lack therof) in my life, I could finally and freely do something different.

Sources that made a difference -- The Landmark Forum (www.landmarkeducation.com) and the International Black Summit (www.blacksummit.org).

Aireka said...

That's the problem with relationships as we get older. Its so hard NOT to bring in the experiences from the past BUT it's definitely not fair to you or him. Its beautiful that you are aware of it. A lot of folks can't even look at themselves objectively. Hard thing about the love is greatness doesn't come with "perching on the edge". It only shows up when you are all in free fall. Good luck!

This Time Now said...

New Dude is so not scared of any fears you have or being in a relationship with you.
He is not having any nonsense and on top of that wants you to share your thoughts with him.

In the words of the great Tim Gunn: Make it work!

Good luck to the both of you, be HAPPY AND RELAX.

LMO85 said...

Sounds like he wants to be a team player and all but I am not feeling this right here:

"I'm feeling like the chick. Sucks and it's unsettling." Nope. not at all.

OneChele said...

It was side-eye worthy but not an actionable offense. ;-)

kenn bivins said...

I've been in that dude's situation before. Heck, I've been that dude before. You have MUCH respect from me on being MATURE to look at yourself while being honest and brave to move FORWARD. Whether it works with dude or not, you have definitely made this relationship add a considerable value to you as a whole.

keishabrown said...

it's hard to change your way of thinking, to not wait for the other shoe to drop when it has so many times. but if you dont fully give yourself to this thing (the relationship), you'll be no better than the dudes we (females) are constantly complaining about. he's showing you he wants to be there. until he shows otherwise, be there right back.

trust me i get it - opening yourself up and making yourself vulnerable to someone. but put it this way, some of your greatest citizens/contributors are not amercian born. you could close your borders to all immigrants after terrorist attacks, but where would that leave you as a country? (esp since there have been attacks from within..see Oklahoma City).

Moral of the story, anything can happen at anytime. New Dude can turn out to be an a$$. That wont make YOU a failure for falling, it just means IT was. and probably for the best and for a reason.

Not to continue to be morbid, but life is short. If something should happen to me tommorrow, my friends would be sad, but they will have known that I lived my life. I took risks in love, and lost more times than I won - but I have very little regrets.

He sounds like the guy that EVERY woman wants including YOU. So let him/you together BE GREAT!

sunt97 said...

Yeah, I know that I have plenty of baggage and it truly sucks. I try to do my best to let go but sometimes it just isn't possible. Like you I have a fortress built me and it isn't easy to got around, climb over and if you knock I may or may not answer. We just have to learn to open up and not look for the rug to be yanked out from underneath.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

AdubS said...

Damn, I coulda written this exact same post! I don't dish until asked, and even then I'm tentative about how far I'm going to let a man in. I got MAJOR trust issues...I don't think they make baggage big enough to carry them all.

Feeling you on this, and working at unpacking my bags.

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