“I just wish I knew the secret!” Matt pouted in frustration. It had been six weeks and he was still stinging from his breakup with Brooke- the girl he had convinced himself was ‘the one’. After two years of what Matt believed was absolute bliss, Brooke had suddenly called their relationship off- claiming she no longer felt like they were in love.
“Sure we love each other,” she had said as she scoured his place for one of her misplaced collectable Snoopy lunchboxes, “but we’re not in love anymore.” And just like that, she was gone.
“What happened? What did I do? Where did we go wrong? I thought we were happy…” Matt flipped through the stereotypical phases of denial, anger and self-loathing like a desperate coupon-clipper searching through the Sunday paper.
After six weeks of tolerating Matt’s pathetic sighs, his constant moping around and his insufferable desire to play ’20 Questions’ on why Brooke left, his best friend Toby had had just about all he could take. It didn’t help matters that Toby had secretly loved Brooke. “It’s like she suddenly stopped loving me… maybe love just doesn’t last. I mean, I didn’t do anything…” Matt was mumbling to himself in his usual self-involved manner as Toby handed him a beer and tried to watch what was left of the second quarter of the game. Great, he had missed a punt return to the end zone thanks to Matt’s incessant whining. This had to stop.
“Dude, enough already,” Toby said, his tone a little harsher than he intended. “It’s really not that big a mystery. It’s the little things. You stop doing the little things and then one day…” Toby stretched out his hands, indicating Matt’s current state.
“What are you talking about, man? What little things?” Matt asked, mystified. Despite Matt being his closest friend, how Brooke had put up with him for as long as she did completely baffled Toby.
“Little things, you know like picking up some of her favorite Greek yogurt at the store when you make a trip or leaving the last little bit of milk for her to use in her tea or taking her car to get the oil changed, you know… stuff,” Toby answered, Matt just stared in confusion. “Clean her apartment for her, leave her little notes where she will find them for days, come on you’ve got to do, you can’t just be in love,” he finished, feeling a little desperate to knock some sense into his buddy.
Matt just stared at him. After what seemed like decades, Toby started to feel like he had grown horns or something equally bizarre to have Matt so stunned. Finally, he spoke, “Ohhh… wow dude. You’re like… a total girl!” Matt said before bursting into laughter.
Taking a swig of his beer, Toby sat back down on the couch and let Matt get it out of his system. Let him laugh. Toby smiled and thought about the bouquet of Gerber daisies Brooke should be receiving any minute now. Yeah, let Matt have his laugh…
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: I was in a lovey-dovey mood tonight, hope you don’t mind. It might be thanks to Sinatra belting one out on my computer. Or, more likely, it might have something to do with my amazing boyfriend and coming home to a clean house, washed dishes and a few other small repairs I’ve needed to get to but haven’t found time for. Man, he’s good. It would be a shame if his efforts went unappreciated so I began to think about how I could show him how great I thought he was (ok, ok I know… pretty sappy, but you’re the one still reading…). So, not having a whole lot of time, I left him little notes all over the house with rhymes like: “You are who I adore, thanks for sweeping the floor” on the broom and “You are the man of my wishes, thanks for doing the dishes” over the sink. Go ahead and say it, I’m adorable… Let’s just say I learned the hard way that you can’t just ‘sit’ on love, you have to be an active participant, even years into the relationship. I, like anyone, get lazy or take for granted that Andy knows I love and appreciate him, but I’m trying to kick that habit. It’s definitely worth it, I think. On a side note, all of the ‘little things’ Toby mentioned are just a few of the things my gem of a boyfriend does for me… he gets it.
Love & Squirrels.