Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Saga VIII - Thora Digs Herself Deeper

Today's my fourth wedding Anniversary (and Earth Day. Buy a tree, save the earth, and celebrate Avram and Thora's love, all at once!). In celebration thereof, I thought I'd write another Saga post.

After the night of love confession and awkwardness, Avram and I continued forward, mostly normal. In our relationship grew a room, with a locked door, that we tried to never talk about, ignore, and not enter. This room became the home of Avram's doubts and fears, of his love for me, and of my keeping him at Plan B, when I had moved up for him to plan A+. Most days throughout the month of May proceeded with schooling for Avram, and full time work at Wymount for me. Then we'd meet in the evenings, eat dinner together, usually at my house since Avram lived far out at 500 west, and spend the evening together walking. All normal, usual activities without much drama in them. Avram did continue to say he loved me at appropriate moments, and I continued to like him, and we both tried to be happy about it.

Avram had laid his heart on the line, and he wasn't moving back on what he'd proclaimed, either. Avram did love me, and did want to marry me - or at least have a decent chance trying to marry me, which he felt he didn't possess under the current relationship. I continued with the same feelings we'd begun the relationship with - a clear understanding that I was still planning to marry Dennis, and when Dennis came home from his mission, and I came home from my Egypt study abroad I would date Dennis, and if for some reason we didn't work out, then I would date and perhaps marry Avram. Fair? No. But in the beginning Avram hadn't minded this arrangement. He had insisted then he only wanted a chance. Well, I was giving him a chance, but in the beginning Avram hadn't loved me, and now he did. Now the same agreement tortured him.

At the time I did not understand why Avram had fallen in love with me so quickly, and even more so, why this meant that he immediately knew he wanted to marry me. Avram's patriarchal blessing told him to pray every day for the girl he would marry, so when he would meet her, he would know he should marry her. Avram had prayed for this, every day, since he was a teenager, at least five or six years previously. Then Avram and I started dating. I was his first official girlfriend, and as he prayed every day, very quickly he came to know that he should marry me. Unlike the pushy boyfriends of Mormon lore, Avram did not pound his personal revelation over my head - I knew nothing of this at the time. But behind his sudden and complete desire for marriage with myself was his spiritual knowledge that he, on his side at least, needed to marry me.

I meanwhile had never been told spiritually who to marry, and I had desperately prayed many times to receive some sort of answer that Dennis and I (or even Gui, my former fiance, and I) should marry. I had never been guided one way or the other, but always felt that this was a decision left up to me.

By May 10th I found out Dennis was not returning during the fall semester, but rather in August, and would be coming out and starting school for the fall. Part of me regretted that I had already signed up to do a study abroad, and so wouldn't be here with him for that semester. However, this meant I would see him briefly, when he came out to school and before I left for Egypt, as I was flying out on August 30th, the same day school started. The very turn of events, of me knowing I would be gone on a study abroad after dating Avram, and that Dennis would be home until after I had left, is what had contributed to me dating Avram at all. Soon I found out his exact return date - August 18th. This became the same day that I knew Avram and I would have to break up by. Four months of dating, and one of them almost already gone.

As May passed by, although I was ecstatic about the soon return of Dennis, I grew closer to Avram as our friendship and relationship expanded. Although I had firmly determined that Avram was only my Plan B, the more time we spent together, the more that I grew to like him immensely. On May 22, a Saturday, we were at his house both reading books. I was stretched out on the couch, reading The Promise by Chaim Potak, with my feet in Avram's lap, as he sat at the other end of the couch reading a fantasy book.

Although interested in the subject matter, I kept becoming distracted by Avram himself. As I kept stealing glances at him in between passages of Jewish male coming of age angst, I realized that I did love him. No, I wasn't ready to marry him, nor ready to even date him at the expense of not trying to marry Dennis. But I definitely felt myself in love with Avram. As the reading minutes passed, and as I spent more and more time meditating upon Avram instead of New York Jewry, I finally snagged Avram's attention away from his book and told him, "I love you."

Taken completely by surprise, Avram smiled, and kissed me. I didn't know what my declaration meant for mine and Avram's relationship, or for me and Dennis, or even whether I'd even want to marry Avram if there were no Dennis. I just knew, at that Saturday afternoon, warm spring moment, that I loved Avram, and wanted to tell him so. And for that moment, Avram and I were at the same level, the same understanding.

(Sorry this is short - I have an Elisheva slowly eating the peel of a slice of cantaloupe, while also trying to climb into my lap and surf the Internet, so I'm finding it difficult to write. Ahh, the pragmatism of marriage.)


  1. Just read the whole saga in one sitting. Wow. I'm glad I know the ending already or I'd be going mental right about now!

  2. From my perspective there wasn't a clear agreement about the eventual outcome of our relationship from the very beginning. Thora and I had been operating, on certain levels, from different basic principles from the very beginning.

    Quote: "I was still planning to marry Dennis, and when Dennis came home from his mission, and I came home from my Egypt study abroad I would date Dennis, and if for some reason we didn't work out, then I would date and perhaps marry Avram. Fair? No. But in the beginning Avram hadn't minded this arrangement. He had insisted then he only wanted a chance."

    I think the real difference was what 'wanting a chance' meant. For Thora this clearly meant a chance to date like I was in High School getting ready to go on a mission. For me it meant, and always did, a chance to see if I wanted to progress the relationship to its natural confusion--eventual marriage. Of course I wasn't sure I wanted to marry her at the beginning, but she is correct in observing that it did not take me long to discover that. I wanted a chance--but not as Thora thought, a chance at playing, but a chance at victory. I was more cavalier at the beginning, but very soon thereafter the stakes got higher.

    This dichotomy of expectations would continue to haunt most of our dating relationship--as you shall see.

  3. I meant 'conclusion' rather than 'confusion' in the above post. Huzzah for Freudian slips.

  4. Thora, if I may, I love that you wrote about that one moment when you realized you loved Avram.

    It's so intriguing to me, this "moment" I've felt it twice in my life and I can also pinpoint the exact moment.

    I wonder if it's like that for everyone?

  5. How appropriate that you finally love him on your fourth wedding anniversary! Congrats!

  6. Of course marriage is potentially the natural confusion of any serious relationship. LOVE that, Avram.

    Well, so you finally give him a little something to go on. Good girl! :) I have to say that I sort of love that you didn't just agree to marry him the first time you saw him cry (that's just so romantic!). I would hate if the story ended after that installment and then you married him. I'd fear for you guys, but you are so obviously much more level headed than that, I wouldn't believe it anyway.

    Happy anniversary, belatedly! Wow. Four years! You guys are still newlyweds! :)

  7. I just read through that comment and realized that it is completely impossible to understand what I meant. Well, I'm not going to explain myself any better, just read the last paragraph. That's the part that matters, anyway!