Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Telephone- The Game

I was a HUGE fan of the game Telephone when I was little. Do you remember it? It is one of those simple gameboard-less games lacking a Mattel or Hasbro logo.

Everyone sits in a circle (as with all childhood games which I swear were created entirely to keep children orderly) and one person whispers something into the person sitting next to them's ear like "The rose was really red." It's imperative that the whisper be soft. The person next to them then whispers it to the person on the opposite side... who whispers it to the next... and so on. The last person in the circle says whatever the phrase has become to the group. The main goal is to pick a phrase that will no doubt be changed in passing. My favorite was always "Pluck your chicken or the feathers will grow to long." It was almost always messed up with a cuss word by the end.

As mentioned in previous entries, my baby brother and I have the same strange sense of humor, and Telephone was the funniest thing ever.

I think I'm living in a Telephone game. Everything gets a bit lost in translation. As in-

APK and I have communication issues. This seems pretty normal in heterosexual relationships. I've dated enough to know that you WILL have the issues, so what's truly important is that you are able to communicate about the communication issues. Mainly, you just need to be able to say to the person, "I don't get what you're saying, but here's how it is coming across."

My mom says that everyone in my generation over analyzes too much. It's probably true. We think like Carry Bradshaw, ie "But I wondered, are we over analyzing?"

My parents have invited APK and I down to Mobile. I asked, "Would you want to come down to Mobile for a weekend sometime?" to him while driving up to Philly for Passover. He said yes, but more notably, suggested Memorial Day. I guessed the response would be more like, "That sounds like fun. Let's talk about it more once we check our schedules."

While in Philly, I spoke to my Grandmother about the significance of bringing APK home with me. I've not brought any boyfriend other than Jerk home with me. My Grandmother was proud of me for seeing my family as such an important part of who I am. Thinking about all of this, and talking to a couple friends, I realized that I should mention to APK that he would be meeting the most important people in my life. I wanted him to make a call as to whether or not this was something he was ready to do. Not saying that we'd get more serious or that we'd be together forever afterwards, but putting out there that this was not something I did with everyone I dated.

In the meantime, APK mentioned to his parents that he might be going down to Mobile with me. His father jokingly asked, "Are you planning to ask for her hand?" OBVIOUSLY this was not the case. Any man I marry will have met my father on more than one occasion before even being aloud to propose. AND he will most definitely be purchasing his own plane ticket. AND he will have full knowledge of his impeding proposal.

I mentioned that my mother had found good tickets, did we want them?

So APK told me his father asked him the above question. Then he made a comment in later discussion that he wasn't sure of my intentions of the trip. He mentioned that he wouldn't sign a contract stating that he'd be with me in 6 months or a year. Good Lord! Who said anything about contracts? How do I know I'll want to be with him a month, let alone a year! How do I know that Prince William isn't out there right now looking for me? Come on, seriously????

I talked to my mom for an hour-and-a-half. We discussed past relationships. We came up with motives for APK's actions and comments. We came up with solutions like my parents coming up here instead. We talked about how great I am and pretty I am and independent I am and all that other stuff one discusses with their mother to make them feel better.

With a bit of level-headedness, I went into conversation again with APK via e-mail. One e-mail into the talk, I got defensive again, of course.

"Hello! I've got enough self-esteem to avoid tricking, cornering, and pressuring guys into giving me what I want. You are lucky just to have me, thank you very much. I wouldn't marry you now, I barely know you, how do I know you're the one for me! If you think that's the type of person I am, then you're not seeing me for who I am. AND FURTHERMORE...." You can imagine the rest, but it all went around those lines.

Then APK got defensive.

"Well, if you don't want me to come, I fully understand. I understand now that going to Mobile is not the same as going away to North Carolina or Virgina Beach for the weekend. I know it's important to you. I didn't want this trip to be indicative of a "higher step" in our relationship. Let's talk more in person about it."

I shot back another e-mail.

Then another from APK.

Then another from me ending with "I don't know where this leaves us. My heart is in my stomach. Sorry for the dramatics. It hurts a lot."

APK's last e-mail read something like, "It means a lot to me that you would want to share your home with me. I understand you don't corner someone you care about. I know that the word contract was incorrect. Let's plan the trip as we were and talk more Thursday in person. "

One more long APK phone conversation last night. My mom found good tickets she'd need to purchase by this morning. Conversation ended with, "so let's go to Mobile. I don't want you to misinterpret anything else I'm saying."

To my mom, "Yeah, we talked about it. We're good to go. Thanks for purchasing the tickets."

All that drama for a three sentence phone call.


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