|I couldn't resist. I loved the 80's.|
But, this weekend, I realized that my brain had made an obvious shift. My moment of discovery came while sitting in the Target parking lot. I saw a couple, about my age, come out of the sliding doors rather quickly, cackling with laughter. You could instantly tell by the way they were looking at each other that they were more than friends. They continued their merry stroll across the road and into the parking spaces, where he very innocently and sweetly took her hand and together they walked to the car.
Now, a few months ago, my reaction to this very short interlude would have probably been some form of fake vomiting. Even retelling this story would have made me consider skipping lunch from nausea. But, somewhere, somehow, my brain was able to muster up new words that I'd never heard from it before: "That's what I want." "Where'd that come from?," I asked my brain in bewilderment. "All this hard work you've been doing lately," it responded to me with a proud grin. It was both strange and reassuring to not feel my usual resentment for this happy couple, so I started my usual Type A response (analyzing things until your head spins) and tried to decipher what about what I had just witnessed created this shift in emotions.
The difference was that I didn't envy the couple what they had with each other or on their own, for that matter. I didn't look at her and think "Well, she's got him because she's cute/skinny/tall/blond/etc. and I'm not." I can't even really tell you too much today about what they looked like. Their physical appearance is not what I remember; I remember their connection. That connection was instantly recognizable and made me happy for them that they'd found it with each other. I also remember their ease with each other. They didn't care if the whole world was watching them be silly; two grown adults almost skipping on a Sunday afternoon in broad daylight in the middle of an overcrowded, back to school weekend, shopping center. All they cared about for those few seconds was that they were happy with each other, right then. When he slipped his hand around hers at her side, it seemed like the natural next thing for them to do, as if they'd been holding hands their whole lives.
Maybe I'm growing up, maybe I'm starting to realize that just because I'm not in relationship doesn't mean the rest of the world can't be. Maybe I'm taking a better inventory that will help me make better decisions in the long run. Whatever the reason for my shift in mindsets was really quite liberating and enlightening. Kind of like when you first discovered you could read and kept looking everywhere to find more words to reel off to anyone who would listen.
Don't get me wrong, I will still sneer at same-side-of-the-booth couples. That's where I draw the line.