Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saga IX - Thora Is Stupid. And Also Gets No Sleep.

I've been putting off writing the next stage of my saga for a while now. See, I look kind of stupid in it. And this is the whole wide world Internet. But, what was the Internet founded for, if not to needlessly display our inner stupid selves? A short time surfing the 'net would seem to suggest this very point, and so I shall join the masses in sharing too much information that really you don't want to hear, and I don't want you to know (and yet write anyway).

To begin this Saga, start here.

Avram loved me. I loved Avram. The world as microcosmed in our relationship seemed simple and complete now, right? Wrong.

I am not a good fence sitter. Once upon a time, eighteen months before this time - May 2004 - I had begun dating a boy, Gui. Shortly (very shortly, but this isn't the part where I share TMI about my stupidity, so I shan't tell you exact numbers) after we commenced our mutual relationship, I decided that I could not like/love both him and Dennis, the missionary. Unlike a plethora of girls before me, I could not conceive of managing to love both, and pursue dating with the one, while still writing the other. So I decided I had to pick between them. Since I had a flesh and blood Gui sitting before me, I picked him. And since I had officially picked him, we began talking about marriage within a day or two, and a few days later (mind you we had been dating for almost no time at all) we were engaged. Let's review. Thora, in the beginning of a relationship, picks to date the guy, and not worry about the missionary. Having committed to dating and loving the guy, feels that marriage is next to love and dating, and gets engaged.

Almost five months later, a mere four and half weeks before the wedding, it all ends in tears, because all that time I didn't really want to be engaged, and I definitely wasn't ready to marry Gui. I just wanted to date him without feeling that I was continuously torn between two men. I finally had learned a valuable lesson - that deciding to merely date a man did not necessitate a Dear John letter, nor did love automatically need to proceed to marriage post haste.

In May of 2004, I once again found myself in love with a man, we'll call him Avram, and once again my natural impulse was to not fence sit. I could not abide the thought of continuously balancing in commitment between two men, nor having my heart undecided. And yet I also did not want to recklessly over commit, whether to marriage or just serious dating, and then feel trapped and deep in a relationship simply so I could avoid feeling torn.

Sunday evening, May 23, the day after I realized and had told Avram that I loved him for the first time, these thoughts swirled around my mind as Avram and I sat upon a picnic table at the playground of the now razed Joaquin Elementary south of BYU campus. As we talked and kissed, I thought how although I loved Avram, I would not, could not repeat another Gui relationship (footnote 1). Being that I had jumped into a serious relationship with Gui mostly because of my own inability to love without a large commitment, whether official in the form of an engagement or emotional with time and effort alone, I didn't know how to change this particular aspect of my personality.

Sitting there on that picnic bench, I hatched a harebrained scheme to avoid doing so, to avoid fence sitting and emotional angst and awkward moments galore. (Get ready, this is where I sound stupid. You should know that any scheme thought up in the midst of a late night conversation that involves any kissing and a deranged mind will be stupid. At least I hope so, because that will make me look normal, like any other girl under the circumstances, and not just uniquely stupid on my own).

When Avram and I had begun dating, at the instigation of myself we had laid down some rules of physical propriety to keep things appropriate and moral. What if I french kissed Avram right then and there, and then Avram, being the upright and upstanding young man that he was, would feel indignation at me breaking our own rules! Then he would have no choice but to break up with me right then, and this would solve all my problems because although I did love Avram, we had not been dating long, and I knew that we were not so seriously involved that our breakup would affect either of us for too long (especially not compared to a breakup after months of serious commitment like mine and Gui's relationship)(footnote 2). Also, since for the life of me I can't break up with boys myself, Avram would take care of all the messy work, and I could get off scott-free, and only be left to wait for Dennis to return in a few months!

This was clearly the brainchild of some genius thinking.

I immediately put to use my grand scheme to save us all a lot of emotional bother, and began my 'seduction.' (Please, at this moment, if you know me in real life, just pretend you've never read all this. I will greatly appreciate this, and would like to pretend I'm just writing this all down in my very private journal that only my eyes see, for some obscure exercise in handwriting, since of course I'll burn the whole lot once I'm done. Thank You.) It took Avram a moment to realize that his girlfriend seemed to be trying to be somewhat adventurous in matters of kissing, but once he figured out I didn't just widely define appropriate kissing, then he pulled back, and asked me point blank, "What are you doing?"

Here my grand scheme and convoluted thoughts and realizations really shone through. "Err.....Errr....." Then I rallied, and worked with what I had. "Why weren't you trying to stop me sooner? You clearly aren't committed to keeping our physical dating rules we set up at the beginning of the relationship! I was just testing your ability to keep my bounds, and you failed!" (Footnote 3)

We argued for hours over this small moment, as I convinced Avram that I had truly been testing his physical bounds, and that he had come off the worse for it. Despite my intentions, Avram did not seem in the least inclined to break off our whole relationship over the matter, and as I am allegedly horrible at ending any emotional connection, I never brought my true desire up either.

As the late hours grew to early morning 'wee s'mas' as Anne Shirley says, Avram and I felt the need to create a positive conversation to overshadow the early misunderstanding. So we kept on talking - about our families, and about hypothetical life if we ever got married. By this point we had moved to the outside walkway in front of my apartment, and sat on the stairs - cold, unforgiving cement stairs - and within a half hour of mutual thought had named eight hypothetical children:

Alexander Richard
Lydia Elizabeth
Charity Anne
Reuven Samuel
Nephi Lee
Miriam Laiya
Hyrum Seth
(Footnote 4).

By this point it was almost dawn, and so Avram and I gave up actually pretending we were going to go to bed, and just sat talking until it was seven am, and time for me to go to work in the morning. I went inside and changed for the day, and brought two bowls of cereal out for us to eat, as Avram was not allowed in my apartment until Nine AM, and then Avram walked me up to Wymount for my custodial job. Then he walked himself home, skipping a whole day of classes - a momentous occasion for Avram. As he walked home, Avram would fall asleep, while walking across streets. I'm lucky he didn't die right then and there. As for myself, as I cleaned out refrigerators, I found myself nodding off to sleep while standing and wiping, and then jerking back awake after a second or two. My first experience staying up all night, and working the day after, and I was beat, but happy after all that I had not caused the end of our relationship.

I still somehow wished for a painless resolution to my life, but I had realized that an early, pointless breakup with Avram was not in the works. Rather, mine and Avram's relationship was stronger than ever. Oh well for the quick and painless breakup that he would initiate. After this I decided to stop trying to get Avram to break up with me. I also decided to just sit on the fence. I made a fine art of sitting on the fence. But, I also decided that Avram was still Plan B. Although I loved Avram, I still planned to break up with him at the end of the summer, and then to go to Egypt, come home, and try to marry Dennis. Only at that point, if Dennis and I didn't work out, would I try and marry Avram. I did not spell this all out immediately - it slowly grew clear to me over a matter of weeks that this was the path I had chosen to follow.

Avram didn't like this path, but he did like me, so he stayed. But under the circumstances I felt it was the best I could do - at least I loved him and we were still dating, right? Although we had our own set of emotional difficulties, I felt much happier in the route our relationship was taking than mine and Gui's had through a rushed engagement.

Footnote 1. This phenomenon, of comparing Avram and our relationship to my previous two serious relationships, Gui and Dennis, drove Avram crazy. He called it Dancing between Heaven (Dennis) and Hell (Gui), and felt that he never came out positively from it. I called it working through my emotional issues.

Footnote 2. Notice that in my mind the only outcome to mine and Avram's relationship was inevitable breakup, disappointment and heartache. I think I was channeling my previous failed relationship, but also I sincerely could not imagine not wanting to marry Dennis. It never really occurred to me at this point that Avram and I could manage to not have a messy breakup.

Footnote 3. An Othello test, it would have been. Avram thought for weeks that this was the explanation behind the whole experience. I actually hate tests like these in literature, and think they are a horrible method of discovering true devotion. Good thing my true purposes were so much better, huh? Avram also wants you all to know that he didn't stop me fast enough. But I was also his first relationship, and his first kiss, and as I had been the one who set the physical boundaries in our relationship, he had counted on me to be the first upholder of those rules. After this in our relationship we both upheld our mutual agreements, which worked much better.

Footnote 4. Until Avram and I got married, I could never understand people having a difficult time naming their children. After all, Avram and I churned out eight in a half hour! No problem at all! Except, Alexander is the 15th most popular name, and I like uncommon names. And Avram hates names that are virtues, like Charity. "The only way we'll ever have a Charity is if we also have a daughter and name her Chastity." Hmmph! And Helamen just isn't doing it anymore for either of us, and although Nephi was a great prophet, sometimes he's just a little...pompous as a young man. And we both like Miriam, but somehow it just wasn't right for Elisheva. And Hyrum and Reuven are still fine (although Reuven just isn't appealing too much for me either, but since so far we have two girls, and our first son has to have the initials of ARS [a Shannon family tradition. Avram's initials are ARS], a second son is so far in the future that I don't even worry about other boys names). I have no idea what we'll do to find a name for another girl, if we had another one. Probably call her Bertha Butt--one of da Butt sisters.


  1. This event wasn't as watershed for me as it was for my wife--partially because I didn't know most of the backstory for weeks--in some cases until after we were engaged.

    All I knew was that I hadn't performed as well as I was supposed, and I was trying to be as perfect as I could so I could win Thora. This felt like a mighty blow to my chances.

  2. This is very funny. I'm not going to lie and say you're not stupid, Thora :), but I WILL say that this is JUST the kind of thing everyone does, only about different things at different stages in their lives. It gave me a good laugh, so thanks for that.

    I'm glad you finally were able to get this episode out, so now we won't have to wait so long for the next one. . .

  3. so way back on episode three you said you were going to disown me for not reading these even i told you in the start that i wasnt going to read it until it was all done becuase i hate waiting for things. I am not patient. there is a reason i did not read the work and the glory books until the year 2000. I didnt want to sit around waiting each year for the next one!! so you told me to read your saga... did you forget i dont read things half done??!! ;) i love you. its a good thing that the night before you went to egypt you stayed at my house and trying to induce my labor we walked and talked the entire night away and you told me a bunch of other details up to that point. but still i cant wait to read the next installment. and you must call me, and apologize for keeping me up reading this story when its not done yet!!

  4. oh and you are not stupid. oh man if you only read my journals of the great jonathan mark dbate. i started dating jonathan six months before mark came home and it was torture. Over and over i would worry in my journal what to do and when to break up with jonathan and anyways in the end i was still in love with jonathan despite it being over officailly the week before mark came home and i ended up with neither of them becuase i was still emotionally wrapped up with jonathan and couldnt commit yet to mark even though i though for two years we would be married. it was a bad thing. lots of drama there. and i was shamefull.. i kissed mark the week before he got married! ya real mature. i was making a point though, that he still loved me. he married her anyways. but what i was trying to tell you here is that everyone does things when they are in that love sick dating world and that is what makes it funny to read about!

  5. Oh my goodness, I love the saga. But hurry it up, I'm not patient either. Get to Egypt! Get to Egypt!

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