Part 2: Stages: A Handbook on Men and Relationships – Chapter 23

Chapter 23
I’m still trying to figure out a few things. If a relationship can be as good as it was with me and Janice why in the hell was I so afraid to try it before? I know the trauma from the first girlfriend thing was my excuse, but it was just that, an excuse. I should’ve done this relationship thing a long time ago. I’ve done things with Janice that you only do with a girl that you know and trust. Everything we do seems to be more fulfilling.
There are things that she does to keep our relationship fresh. She sits down on certain days and maintains a book, kinda like a log of all we do. The log has pictures, silly letters and other little things that we could look at and laugh at. That seemed so small to me when she started the book. Now that book is like an intricate part of who we are, it grew. All of the little stuff like catching a movie or walking and talking about things that we want and have dreamed about is something that I obviously hadn’t done with anybody else, except maybe Laney. I once thought that settling down meant you run out of things to talk about in a year or two. That can happen if you stop doing things. But the hobbies that we have always gives Janice and I some kinda conversational pieces. She reads a lot of books, which always gives her something to say and it’s not just meaningless little words to fill quiet space. Each word is meaningful, unless we’re just trippin. Janice is a dream come true for me, and Tina is a dream woman for Flip. The closer it came for me to propose though, the more nervous I got. I started feeling like I was doing this proposal thing more for myself than I was for her. Maybe it was a new experience that I wanted to have. I didn’t know. I just started feeling uncomfortable.
During lunch three days before the 24th, one day before we got a week off for Christmas and New Year’s I talked to Flip about my doubts.
“Man have you had any second thoughts?”
“Come on man, I know you’ve had one thought.”
“Nope, not one. If you asked me if I’m scared, I’d say hell yeah, but having second thoughts, nope.”
I sat for a second and processed what he said. “I guess they are two separate things. I haven’t really had second thoughts. I guess I’ve been afraid also.”
“That’s all it is. Fear is a trip. It’ll have you thinking some crazy shit.”
“No doubt. So you’re afraid also? But what the hell are we afraid of?”
“Losing our freedom.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. That’s what I’m afraid of for sure,” I said.
“Think about it though, when was the last time you’ve wanted for anything mentally? Or for that case physically?” Flip asked.
“I haven’t thought about it.”
“I haven’t wanted for anything since that day we went to the club and met the girls. Don’t get me wrong I wanted more from her for a long time, but I knew it was worth waiting, but now, it’s all good.”
“I feel you.”
“In a way, when we bought those rings we became liberated.”
“What are you saying Flip?”
“Think about it. We don’t have to live everyday thinking about how we’re gonna find new women. We don’t have to buy shit to impress anybody anymore. It’s perfect, we can be ourselves, without worrying about how we look every second.”
“So you ain’t getting your hair cut anymore?”
“I didn’t say that. I’m saying we don’t have to sweat nobody ever again. We don’t have to wait on pages, second dates, none of that.”
“I feel you, I feel you. I hadn’t ever thought of that. Besides we haven’t been out there bad for over a year,” I said.
“Nope. So stop worrying and start making up what you’re gonna say.”
“What I’m going to say? Oh damn, I haven’t made up a damn thing yet.”
“Tee, I got an idea.”
“How about we do it at the same time?”
“I don’t know man. We boys, but don’t you think that’s a bit much?”
“Maybe, but it would be different.”
“What would we do?” I asked.
We sat down and put our heads together and came up with the bomb idea.
Buy Stages: a handbook on men and relationships if you want to read it at your own pace, or just check back to keep reading it here.