a few weeks ago, i got suckered - er, invited to watch friday night lights with the man. i know that tons upon tons of people just love them some of this show. i'm totally OK with that, too... for them. to me, it's just a complete and total boy soap opera. (and boy, does the man get ornery when i call it that.) it's a melodrama with football inserted to divert from the fact that it's a melodrama. but that's not really what i wanted to get into. he and i watched the series finale together right before he left. i was more than a little emotional over the increasingly taxing events of february 2011, and without getting into details (because unless you have direcTV, you have not seen anything of the fifth season of the show), the finale of this show may as well have been called let's see how many mags-specific emotional triggers we can cram into one episode of a football-themed melodramatic boy soap opera. just one after another, with no mercy whatsoever. i bore up as best as i could, i really did...
and then it happened. i found myself sitting in a chair in the man's media room with tears silently streaming down my face, unable to stop. when he noticed, he immediately insisted that we stop what we were doing and talk about what in the name of all things holy could possibly have been bothering me. (had to have scared the hell out of him - in all the time he's known me, i had never, EVER done anything like that in his presence.) we went upstairs and shut the door to his bedroom, at which point i sobbed like i never had before.
once i got it out of my system, i looked up at my worried boyfriend and started talking. [and i mean this: if you really don't want to know what happens at the end of friday night lights, stop reading now. i can't dodge spoilers anymore.]
the one thing i've read about the show that i think is true, and highly complementary, is that it's one of the more honest depictions of marriage out there on television. and at the end, there are marriages starting and thriving, relationships ending, and people sharing and sacrificing for one another. there are poignant shots of women's wedding jewelry, meant to memorialize this emotional heavy lifting. and at the sight of the woman's wedding ring passing to the daughter's engagement ring, it drove the point home that, hey, girl, you FAILED at this. BIG TIME. i just sat there watching this, hearing the word failure over and over again in my head, and i just couldn't take it. good christ. how much of my past is going to bleed into my future? how do i know, how could i ever know, if i will let the man down the way i failed my last marriage? am i ever going to be good at this, good for him, again, or am i just locked into being a bad wife, a bad partner? this is the speech that came tumbling out of me amid the sobs, spoken into this poor man's shoulder, who really just wanted to watch how his show came out in the end.
he lifted up my head, looked me square in the eye and said, darlin', you really, really need to stop beating yourself up over this. he told me how it wasn't just me, how both sides failed at the old relationship, just like all failed relationships, and how i needed to learn how to forgive myself for the sins of the past and go forward. but i pulled the trigger, i told him. yeah, you did. but he loaded the gun. and just like that, it hit me: yeah, he's right about that. i did some things i wasn't proud of. i gave up on my ex long before i left him. i checked out years ago. but i didn't do these things in a vacuum. if things had been right, i wouldn't have gone down that road.
so the clouds lifted. i felt a little better. (and the man finished the show. he was satisfied with the ending. good for him.) and a boy soap opera gave me more clarity than i ever could have imagine.
Letter 70: Be Louder
4 weeks ago