Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Facebook's Closet Brought Me Back

This morning started off with Paul and I decidedly upset at each other because that's sometimes what you do when you're married.  You decide that you are going to sneak off to some part of the house and not make the French toast you had promised because that would really burn your also upset and sneaking off to another part of the house husband.  You decide it is your right to be mad and that's just exactly what you'll do.

I sat down at the kitchen table with my cup of decaf coffee and went to work cleaning out my Facebook inbox.  One of my resolutions for this year is to organize the digital side of my life.  Messages that my friends and family send me go unanswered or answered late with an obnoxious: "I totally didn't realize this message was here" kind of apology.  My photos are haphazardly stored in a myriad of spots.  I've got about five different places on my computer where I "journal" and the word journal being used quite liberally.  Yeah, it's pretty bad.  If I don't get it into gear soon, my family will be staging a digital communication intervention.

So I, still decidedly angry in my quietly still house, went to work deleting Facebook messages conversations.  Years of conversations.  I started unraveling a whole history I didn't even realize was saved.  And there were things I would have rather not read.

Who was I in college? Very insecure, that's what. And very forward. Also, often so silly I truly couldn't understand what even I meant in my own message. And so disastrously clueless about flirting the old me had the current me yelling things at the computer like: "Oh, come on, Ashley! Seriously?!?"

I deleted message  conversation after conversation of mismatched desires.  Guys asking me out and crickets on my side of the thread... or me chasing after a guy who turned up not to be interested.  College was such a trial of waiting and playing with the fire of hurt (guys very wrong for me) simultaneously.  I started seeing names of guys I didn't even remember.  Close calls and near misses.  It was all coming back to me, the awkwardness stuck in my throat like some piece of chicken that refused to surrender, and I couldn't hit delete fast enough.  Delete. Delete. Delete for goodness sake!

The awful aspects of being alone for so long were materializing before my very eyes.  The quiet desperation.  The disappointment.  The games. The rejection.  Most of all, the hoping that someone would come along who made everything so simple because he, you really dreamed, would fit into your life like the missing component that belonged there all along.

And here I was, still sitting at the dining table but now not as quite decidedly set on being angry as before, knowing that the guy I had dreamed of was in this very house... likely behind a locked office door hoping I would say sorry first.

I made him some tea. A peace offering.  Tazo Focus for all his serious work with a serious face behind a serious barricade .  He looked ticked when I repeatedly, amid his conference call, knocked on the door but the look quickly faded when I presented a red mug a la steam. He accepted the kindness, hesitatingly. We moved on.

Life on this side of the wedding ring truly isn't any easier or more difficult than the other.  Being single brought its own set of challenges [and freedoms] and even though I happen to not care to go back to that time in my life, it isn't because of how difficult it was.  It is only because I was so unaware of all the good that surrounded me.  I don't want to ever be her again. That person whose eyes are fixed on the missing pieces.

Paul and I have a beautiful life together, a life which sometimes sprouts a petty fight which is easily fixed with a red mug, a shared joke, and the communion of soup.  Thanks to the deep reaches of Facebook, I'm happily reminded and grateful to be in a place where I am whole, and that just happens to be in the sacrament of marriage: a place with little room for stomping off or being quiet, a place where there is no end in sight for screaming teapots and ladles upon ladles of soup. Oh, and kisses too.


  1. I, too, am trying to escape the trap of being "That person whose eyes are fixed on the missing pieces." The pieces we have are so beautiful, so worthy of attention and thanksgiving.

    1. Have you read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts? It's a great tool for refocusing on our blessings!