Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 138: A totally decent placeholder

I was speaking with a friend recently about sordid love affairs of our past. He spoke of this woman who lived across the courtyard. They'd have dinner with and a screw every Friday night. She was 24. He was 19. Each were equally lonely, despondent, insecure and driftless.

I spoke of mine. How he was fun. We had a few good laughs. We shared a few bottles of wine, films, late nights and early mornings. On occasion, we walked arm-in-arm but never hand-in-hand. And I didn't even care to imagine my first name with his last name.

He was a totally decent placeholder.

The totally decent placeholder is a person you pretend to love for a time. Or at least like enough to pretend to be kinda dating. Not the kind of person you really care to introduce to your family or friends. A person you hang out with but not a person you brag about.

In the quietness of your secret little romance, you whisper little hopes like, "I could get used to this," and, "We should do this again in the near future... and maybe in the distant future."

You both know the score. But there is comfort in lies.

Then, as with any totally decent placeholder, drifting occurs. Calls, texts and emails become sparse until they end completely. No big breakup blowout. Weeks later you think you should call but then you shrug and figure you'll do it later.

We all know that later never comes.

Eventually they make a comment on your status update that makes you smile and you consider writing a witty retort. You also consider starting that thing up again. Whatever that thing was. But then you go about your business of the day and both the witty retort and rekindling thought is forgotten.

Upon reflection, you could think that this was a relationship that failed. Or did it? What if the placeholders had never come along to give us a smile? We could lose hope. How dreary life would be.

So let us honor the totally decent placeholders in our lives. They served a purpose and for this, we thank them. 
Tom: What happened? Why? Why didn't they work out?
Summer: What always happens. Life.
                          -- 500 Days of Summer

1 comment:

  1. Wow...I think everyone in the world can relate to this post. Very well said. And I love how you wove in 500 Days of Summer. Great movie.

    I think sometimes the placeholders teach us the lessons we need to learn to get to the non-placeholders.


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