For thirty years the Good Guy has been in love with me. He
vividly recalls the first time we met, in a bar. He came to my table to speak
with a friend that he had gone to Catholic school with. As introductions were
being made, I noticed a hot guy at the bar, and said I was going to “go out
with him”. Said good bye to the table and left the bar with the stranger in a
Ferrari. I have no recollection of the evening, but it sounds like something I
would have done. I probably got a great dinner out of it. The Good Guy tells me it was like watching something out of a movie, I was so beautiful and so fearless. I wish I had a little more of those two precocious things these days.
The Good Guy comes and goes in my life. Thirty years is a pretty big time span. For several years I would see him a few times a month in a walking group. And then one day he offered to help me run some errands. It was more than help; it was like I had a personal servant. He drove the car, placed all the items in the cart, followed a few steps behind wherever I went (he said he like to watch the men look at me, and felt proud that they thought he was my boyfriend.) When we got home the Good Guy unloaded the car, carried everything up the stairs (and I have a lot of them) and put things away. Ok I was addicted. For the next few years he was my shopping assistant – people often mistook him for my body guard. He was very protective.
He called a few times a day to make sure I was OK. When I was working a lot (which is most of the time) the Good Guy would pick up food for dinner and deliver it to my house. Drive me to the airport for business and vacation (without him). Housesit and take excellent care of all my animals, fix things around the house. He loved to shop for a Christmas tree together, and would spend the day decorating to my specifications. For years he’d buy me fresh flowers every week until I demanded he stop spending the money. I just felt so guilty.
He also made an excellent nurse. When I dropped the fireplace poker nearly through my food he bought everything needed to clean the wound and bandage my mangled toe. When the love of my life, Domino (a Chihuahua) was attacked by a coyote he changed his leg bandage every day so it didn’t get infected. He saved the little guy’s leg.
The Good Guy is big and unbelievable strong. He’d move the furniture to new places in the house when I was bored, and put a three hundred pound Buddha statue in place in the yard. His faith in my business acumen was unwavering.
He supported every business idea. The Good Guy was a cross between a husband, (without intimacy), personal assistant, and a gay best friend.
The Good Guy would fade into the background when I was in a relationship; and bizarrely predict the ending. Usually the how, when and why. I began to think he was using some black magic to influence my relationship demise. It was bad karma.
His Facebook page relationship status said “it’s complicated”. I’m sure it was to him, but not to me. I would ask him to back off and he would for a week or two. But then he’d call and offer to clean the gutters for fall, or to give me a break from work with brunch in Napa; he was so helpful, and it was so easy to say
yes. And soon he’d be carrying my luggage down the stairs for another ride to the airport.
I thought I could count on him for anything. The Good Guy really loved to help. And not just me, he’d help his family as well. Everything he did was pretty much for someone else.
So when Dad got really sick and I needed help to take him home to
die, the Good Guy seemed to be the perfect person to go with me. I trusted him.
He had a big truck, and was strong to lift Dad. He’d accumulated many vacation days, and he knew my family and had always wanted to visit the log cabin I grew up in. We planned the date around his schedule, praying that Dad would hold out for a few more days. He would help get Dad to the house, spend a few days and then drive home. I’d fly home after Dad passed away.
All this took lots of energy to arrange between building a ramp, lining up hospice, getting a new caregiver organization, and ensuring long term care would cover the new organization. I was an emotional mess on the verge of a stroke. My right eye would throb, my shoulder had shooting pains, I couldn’t sleep or eat. For really the first time in my life I really, really needed help. Dad has his bags packed ready to go, just waiting for me to come and get him.
The Good Guy and I would have to stay together in a motel room for a few days while things were put into place. I’d never stayed overnight with him before. It seemed right. It actually seemed as if we might be a couple. I was so grateful to have him help me with the most difficult situation of my life. I was afraid.
Two days before we were to leave I got a sick feeling in my stomach. Something wasn’t right. The Good Guy hadn’t called the day before. He
always called. Actually his constant calling would interrupt my concentration
at work, but I always answered. I asked him to meet me for dinner that night. He
was very stiff. I said “you’re not going to Oregon with me on Thursday are
you?” He said no, that his mother had some things she wanted to clean up. She
needed his help. I said that “Dad was dying and I couldn’t wait. That we had it
planned that he had the time off. “ “What was I to do?”
And then the Good Guy. The man that had professed his love for 30 years. The man that let his family, co-workers, and friends believe I was his girlfriend, who had pictures of me all over his room, said to me that “blood was thicker than water”. “I would have to do it on my own, or let Dad die where he was.”
I was shocked. His fortune cookie said “Consider friend decisions carefully; results are forever.”
I went with Domino. It took me four days to bring Dad home to die. I followed the Good Guy’s vacation via Facebook as he traveled the Pacific Coast. Smiling pictures at all the tourist stops. All the while I knelt for hours a day by Dad’s bedside listening to his labored breath, watching his face as he dreamed of better times, talked with old friends, and sought peace.
I don’t miss the Good Guy. He did the ONE thing that would end our friendship, and the end is a relief. It wasn’t healthy for either of us.
I guess my ask was too big. Or the possibility of a real relationship with me was too scary and/or destroyed the fantasy. Or he paid me back for all the years that I wouldn’t commit to him. For all the good deeds he did, he never even got a kiss. I may have deserved it. Or maybe the Good Guy was just an act to get me to marry him.
His Facebook status still says “it’s complicated”. I see now that it is not so much about me, but about his emotions regarding intimacy.
Thirty years is a very long time to fantasize about someone. To pass up on real relationships with women that would return his love. I hope he moves on quickly. I’d love to see his Facebook page say “In a relationship with…”
We both need to grow up.