Just went to see The Last Kiss. Alison picked me up outside of my therapist's office and we drove to my place. We killed some time writing songs on garage band and then met Shoshana for dinner. We haven't spent an evening with Shoshana that hasn't been wedding-related in almost a year so it was refreshing.
As the credits rolled I looked over at the girls and they were both crying. All I could think was, did I miss something? I checked my pulse - could I have blacked out at some key moment? It was sweet and sad and pathetic and funny and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so for a girl who cries at her desk almost daily over nothing in particular, it was a bit weird that I was dry-eyed. Is my heart turning to stone, I worried? Am I growing bitter?
We walked toward the parking lot.
"I didn't even cry at my wedding and I can't seem to stop crying now", Shoshana said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
"I know. I could cry myself to sleep", Alison added.
"Oh come on. Get a hold of yourselves!"
They both looked at me surprised. I shrugged.
They turned back to each other.
"It does seem impossible that people could be together for 30 years, happy", Shoshana sighed.
"I know, but it happens. It happens all the time". She seemed to be trying to convince herself more than anything.
And then it made sense. I thought of the time I flew home to visit my parents. I drove with them to visit my grandmother on the southern tip of the province. On the road, everything my stepfather did made my mother angry. They argued so much my chest was permanently tight. We stopped at this beatuiful white sand beach on the way home. My stepfather sat on a bench outside the snack bar while my mother and I took off our shoes and walked along the waters edge. The salt air and the sound of the waves were no match for the animosity in that car. I wanted things to be happy for once. I wanted to convince my mother not to hate him - to dig deep and find some love in her heart. I confronted her, I scolded her for her lack of patience. I pushed and prodded. Once the tears trickled down her cheeks I knew I had gone too far.
"You don't want to know, so don't ask", she told me. I remember she looked so old at that moment.
So I know that things can be bad and I know why people pretend not to see it. People fall apart. People fall out of love. People might stay together, but 'happy' is relative. I know no other way, but they don't understand. Either their parents were good liars, they're good pretenders, or they're the exception to the rule.
Even though I worry I'm losing my innocence, I couldn't help but feel a little proud.
Look at me, I thought. Dry-eyed and for the moment, [relatively] satisfied.