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Monica Bielanko
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Wednesday
May312006

Serendipity

ser·en·dip·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (srn-dp-t) n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2.The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.


When I was 22 I met you. And it was magic. We simmered in the gloriously spicy stew of the first hello, first conversation, first kiss... I liked you. You liked me. So much so you immediately said goodbye to the generic blonde you were dating.

But I was tangled up in a debilitating relationship with Older Married Guy. His sea weed fingers tightly wrapped around my legs, pulling me below the suface.. Each time I managed to kick free, the weed multiplied, snaked around my body once again, slithered through my fingers, whispered sweet nothings into my hair... then yanked me beneath.. And so I let you go.

Nine months later I thought that, like Houdini, I had unlocked myself from the chains, slashed my way out of the bag and frantically wiggled toward light, toward the surface.. We saw each other again but you had returned to the generic blonde.

That didn't matter to me.. After pulling out all the stops, you were mine. But the fickle 23 year old inside let you go again. If you liked me so easily you obviously weren't that valuable, right? I longed for a challenge. And so I tossed you back. I was young, confused, needed to sample what life offered me in the way of male companionship. You were just so crazy about me. And so nice. Nice. A death sentence for a young man hoping to land the girl of his dreams. I thought it just couldn't be that easy.. I required passion, drama. To know someone cared about me, I needed them to yell at me, not stare at me with puppy dog eyes.

So once again, like a beautiful fish, I threw you back into the sea, choosing instead to get involved in a violent relationship that involved emergency phone calls and embarrassing public altercations. But you know this. Sometimes I would call you, crying about this latest fight, that latest humiliation...and you would patiently listen and offer advice. Because you are that kind of man.

Then, after years of heartache, wondering what was wrong with me.. like a shot to the heart I realized. I understood that I was repeating my dysfunctional familial relationships with my boyfriends. The shouting, the degrading... That's what I was used to. It felt normal. And unless I changed something, I would repeat the pattern with my children. Creating an environment where yelling replaces talking, silence replaces laughter, fear replaces contentment.

I left him then. I came looking for you. You, who loved my perfect imperfections. But of course it was too late. You were with Her. And my heart was broken. I couldn't bare it that I had so horribly misunderstood the meaning of love and companionship.

I saw you with Her that hot, summer day and although it was painful, I stayed and anesthetized the hurt with liquor.. I watched Her. I even spoke with Her briefly. I needed to know what She was like. What it was that drew you to Her? But I knew within moments of speaking to Her that She wasn't for you. I cried. I deliberated. Should I tell him I love him? That She isn't right for him? I wrote you letters but never sent them. Left you voicemails and erased them. I knew I had lost my chance.

And we moved on.. You continued your life with Her.. I dated others. We ran into each other once on a ski slope. You were polite, distant. I was crushed. I cried. But it was meant to be.

Eventually I found the man of my dreams and let my past dissolve like fog when a brilliant sun shines through.. Unbeknownst to either of us we each married someone else only hours apart. What are the odds? You in one Utah canyon, me, a few miles away, in another.

We embarked on our married lives, each of us unaware of what the other was up to.. And then this past Sunday I was struck with thoughts of you. I wonder what he's up to? I wonder if he's married? Maybe he has kids now... So I employed that old stalker stand-by and Googled you.

All the time, there you were...living right inside my monitor. Your phone number, your work address. So I called you.
"I can't believe you just called me." You said.
"Why?"
"I just found out my wife has been cheating on me. She's with him right now."


We talked. Marveled at the serendipitous nature our lives have taken. Separating and joining us when fate sees fit. You explained your behavior on the ski slope...It rocked you to see me, only days before you planned to ask Her to marry you. You couldn't talk to me, were afraid of being drawn back toward me. You couldn't believe after years of not seeing me you ran into me just days before becoming engaged.

Serendipity. Out of the blue sky, I am struck by thoughts of you and call you on the very day your marriage crumbles.. when you most need a friend. Serendipity. It is my turn. Now I can pay you back for being such a solid friend all those years ago by being a strong support now. You will be okay. I know this.

Reader Comments (19)

Just when I've read all your entries and chapters and I think I know you, you blow me out of the water with an entirely new story. Wow. I was actually rooting for you and the guy until I clicked on "man of my dreams" and remembered how fabulous The Surge is. Beautifully written.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
My question is this: Are you going to crush the man of your dreams? I have my assumptions...
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNCTRNL
Monica, rent "nine lives" by Rodrigo Garcia, it's sad in a good way, made me look from a new angle at my own life.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercrazygoing
"That didn't matter to me.. After pulling out all the stops, you were mine. But the fickle 23 year old inside let you go again. If you liked me so easily you obviously weren't that valuable, right? I longed for a challenge. And so I tossed you back. I was young, confused, needed to sample what life offered me in the way of male companionship. You were just so crazy about me. And so nice. Nice. A death sentence for a young man hoping to land the girl of his dreams. I thought it just couldn't be that easy.. I required passion, drama. To know someone cared about me, I needed them to yell at me, not stare at me with puppy dog eyes."

"So once again, like a beautiful fish, I threw you back into the sea, choosing instead to get involved in a violent relationship that involved emergency phone calls and embarrassing public altercations. But you know this. Sometimes I would call you, crying about this latest fight, that latest humiliation...and you would patiently listen and offer advice. Because you are that kind of man.

Then, after years of heartache, wondering what was wrong with me.. like a shot to the heart I realized. I understood that I was repeating my dysfunctional familial relationships with my boyfriends. The shouting, the degrading... That's what I was used to. It felt normal. And unless I changed something, I would repeat the pattern with my children. Creating an environment where yelling replaces talking, silence replaces laughter, fear replaces contentment."

YES!!!

This is what needs to be worked on.

You know this.

Congratulations and wonderfully written.

BTW: I was always that fish guy, too. That has happened sooo much to me. Fuck! At least I have a better understanding even if it still ain't right.

You kill me.





May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
"My question is this: Are you going to crush the man of your dreams? I have my assumptions... "


Why would she leave someone she calls "the man of her dreams"?

May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce
I loved this. It made me feel wistfully good just to read it. I have a guy I could never pay back for what he did for me...or repair the stuff I did to him. But he forgave me, and I got to see him get married to a wonderful woman. It was really nice to be happy for him...and to stop feeling guilty for what I'd done.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
I guess the Serendipity part of it would lead me to believe that now that the first guy is single again and back in her life, she will drop whatever she has built and try it again with him. Is that off base?
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNCTRNL
Way off base. Monica loves serge like no other. This is just another step in the process of life and growing up. When it STILL hurts, then there's the AH-oh, but it doesn't still hurt. Just sweet memories and a genuine affection for him. She cares because of what they had..Not have.
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
Totally off base. Monica is married for one thing. It's called memories, maybe even irony as well.

I think NCTRNL you're reading too much into this than it really is.
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
Monica, I've been reading for a while now (found you vía S. Klein's blog) and have been tempted to write before but my comments always seemed too retorical. Today I must. I love this post. I see myself in it. Ever hopeful for another chance at love & meeting the man of my dreams. I'm thankful I've matured enough to know that the nice, sweet, quiet guy behind door number 2 is the one for me.
I'm sure the Serge loves you more for being a good friend to those who so painfully need one.
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMariY
Getting that nagging little itch to send your friend a text message to see how they are doing only 5 minutes after they were fired. Serendipity or coincidence?
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCoincidence?
I remember the days of chasing the selfish bad boys, while overlooking the nice ones. That’s a pattern I repeated for far too long.
It took some maturing & improving self-esteem to finally tire of that and appreciate being treated well and being loved well.
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterchrissy
'coincidences' like this make me wonder if two people are ever really meant to get married; I mean clearly this idea is trite to the point where Tyra Banks tried to have an hour long talk show on this very topic, but still, I mean isn't marriage a social construct?

Maybe there is no such thing as 'till death do us part.' Maybe love is a fleeting and beautiful experience just like the birth of a star or the evanescent flavor burst of fresh bubble yum gum.

bubble yum rules.
June 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterleggo
memories don't signify what's in the heart. Caring in concern does not have to by synonymous with let's get together. Cool story and I hope your friend can get through this trying time.
June 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
You know what's scary? TWO nights ago, you and I polished off TWO bottles of wine in less than TWO hours and Xmastime drank TWO 4-packs of Guiness.

Woah. Freaky.
June 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
after having a 6-pack of tallbopys of course. and yes, before you even ask...did em both. sigh. "wednesday night." no biggee.
June 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime
Here we go again...
June 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Thats your Wed.? Sounds like a good Thursday to me, maybe Friday.
June 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercunning linguist
Mon: Just read this for the first time. I was thrown back into the sea in 1987. We both got married the same year, only speak about once every year and a half or so, but there is always something serendipitous about the timing of our calls. Usually when one needs to hear from the other most.

She's had some rocky times, and her husband's not a bad guy. She's halfway across the country from me now. Her perfume still turns my head when someone walks by wearing it.

But all is good. Here was my sign: I went to her wedding in '92, where her Mom (after a few cocktails) said to me, "I always thought it was going to be you!" in front of my within-weeks to be wife, who replied "Funny! So did he!" (To this day, I'm proud of that!)

You gave words to what she never said, but what I came to feel. It HAS dissolved in the fog, and as Mama put it, is all about what I "had," not what I have.
June 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri

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