Sunday, September 25, 2011

FAILURE TO LAUNCH: How The Mystique of Palmer, Alaska Was The Final Demise of My Long Distance Relationship

After three, long, tiresome years, my relationship with the Cute Alaskan Man is done. Not just done...but done, da done done. I may sound lighthearted when I'm saying all of this, and maybe I am a bit lighthearted right now--the heart probably weighs less when it's broken into pieces. You're welcome for that little science lesson. What can I say, I know a few things  about mass and surface area.

January 3rd, 2012 would've made my relationship hit the three year mark with the Cute Alaskan Man. The 3 year, still 3,000 miles apart mark--oh yeah...with absolutely ZERO plans for any sort of future together. I can't even imagine the size of my carbon footprint, and my contributions to global warming just by the sheer nature of dating a well-rooted Alaskan for nearly three years. It's huge. It's probably going to be what finally does the planet in, causes Al Gore to have a heart attack, makes the polar bears at the Denver Zoo punch me in the face through the plexiglas for melting away their relative's icebergs at the north pole, and causes the next polar ice age. I guess hindsight is 20/20, but on behalf of me and my selfishness for "have love, will travel", I'M SO SORRY, PLANET EARTH AND ALL OF ITS INHABITANTS.

"So what is this "Failure to Launch" thing, Whitney?"...well, I'll tell you. Failure to launch is what happens when people will do whatever it takes to avoid having to take THE NEXT STEP in life--whether it be because they don't want to grow up, or because they want free handouts (the "have your cake, and eat it, too" syndrome).There are a couple of areas where this "failure to launch" concept completely submarined my relationship. However, it's not JUST this new development--this has been an ongoing trend for years that has been allowed to go on for as long as it has because I was stupidly in love with someone who only loved me "conveniently".

Have you ever had those times where your friends are like, "Dude, what are you doing?" I've had a lot of those, from a lot of people lately--some of which are from amazing people who offer sound advice that I trust. A lot of people have been shaking their heads at me for years and telling me that I am just as much to blame for the stagnant status of my relationship as my (now) ex-boyfriend because I allow it to keep going on without it going anywhere (and it costing a crap-ton of money in travel to boot). I finally listened--although it took having Tristan pull the rug completely out from underneath me to hear it  this time with 100% clarity.

As many of you know, Tristan has been building a house up in Alaska. He has owned property up there for years, and had kicked around the idea of building on it. When I had my surgery back in 2009, I was basically feeling like death. We spent many nights in the hospital with a computer drafting program designing a home that would be for us and fit my family. Negotiations with my ex-husband began for a possible move to Alaska, and what that might look like with respect our 50/50 custody split. In the end, it wasn't going to work out. My time would be too short with the kids, and I didn't think it would benefit them. All of this occurred PRIOR to Tristan starting to build the house in Alaska. When he found out I would be unable to move up there, he unilaterally decided to build the house anyway (**insert initial break-up of Whitney and Tristan here**).

There have been many other HUGE, GIGANTIC, BLAZING, MARQUIS SIGNS that things weren't going forward. Somehow they were always talked around, and somehow I always was re-convinced that this wasn't "doomsday" as it had appeared, but simply just one more giant hurdle that Tristan had decided to place in the way of moving forward. WHY? Because he wasn't ready to move forward--and certainly not with me.

There were many times that I was asked to modify and mold myself into perfection so that I could be "wife material" in my relationship with Tristan. I don't think there's anything wrong with "refining" yourself, and striving to be your best, but when someone picks you apart and tells you in a round-about-way that you're not good enough for them--it's time to go. And don't worry--I don't have any residual self esteem issues from this. I happen to think that whomever I end up with will appreciate me for all of me. I have a lot to offer, and I never truly believed the gripes and groans he had about me. Anyway, when all of these requests for refinement were being made by him, it should've been my first sign to bail. I think if I hadn't know Tristan for 14 years, and if he hadn't been my best friend in college, I would've laughed in his face and told him to take off a long time ago. Love does strange things to people. It gives you an unhealthy tolerance for giant loads of crap.

I'm not going to go into all the details of why we crashed and burned. The final straw was during his last stay here in Colorado. Not only is he nearing the end of building the house in Alaska, but he is gearing up to move in there, and he is taking all of his current roommates with him. Dear Whitney--God just called and said to smack you upside the head and let you know that this man is never going to grow up. Oh sure, Italics Person...way to show up now and tell me.

It's not just that, but there was a rift between me and Tristan's friends last year. I voiced my opinion about a relationship I felt was unhealthy for one of our mutual friends, and it spiraled into a small town, rumor mongering pit of crap--one in which every one of his friends stopped talking to me. This wouldn't be a problem, other than the fact that the couple I speak of had a whirlwind relationship, are now married, and I just found out they are going to live in the basement of Tristan's brand-spankin' new house that I helped him design...for us...which is now a major joke (and yes, in the rooms originally designed for my children are now going to be housing all of them--including another one of his guy pals). Why? Because they all suffer from FAILURE TO LAUNCH. It may just be me, but the idea of being married kind of brings with it the whole, "Getting out on your own" idea--not the "I want to live in my friend's basement for two years so I can have him foot the bill for a nice home while I save up money to build my dream home" idea. Call me crazy. Oh...and I was supposed to go up to Alaska on vacation here in a few weeks, but then realized the basement would be full of his squatter pals, which kind of put a damper on all of it. Sorry--I'm a little old to have roomies involved in my relationship at this point in my life. The whole lot of people I have mentioned here are in their late 20s-early 30s...time to get out of Phi Beta Kenny frat/sorority and move your fuzzy butts forward, peeps! Never mind...I'll just move mine.

So yes, the submarine has been submarined. These are just two big issues we've had. There are many others (remember the purchase of the boat?...that was just one more thing). Many others that point me in another direction. I just wish it hadn't been on the same day my Philadelphia Eagles lost to the NY Giants, and Michael Vick broke his hand. I'd say this day can go down in history as a MEGA BUMMER.

So where do I go from here? NO...I'm not talking about men, goodness knows I haven't had a real date with a man I didn't know since thank you. I'm talking about my vacation coming up the end of October. Wherever it is, it will be amazing--and I have some vacation home feelers out for Kauai. Onward and upward, people. Oh, and for all of you who have followed this relationship from the beginning, and who have been the voice of reason for me,THANK YOU. And PS...I didn't recognize myself anymore, either. ;)

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