The Concept of “Big”

50's slezy guyI reference Sex and the City quite often. I do this because my 20’s were influenced heavily by the television show and also because I lived it. You could have plopped me down into an episode and I would have fit right in with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte without skipping a beat. Right down to the “Big” experience. Yes..I had a “Big”. Had being the operative word. Now I can tell you where my reality breaks off from Carrie Bradshaw’s experience. It wasn’t a beautifully melodramatic unfolding of a love story where if you believe and hold on to the jerk he’ll come to his senses and marry you. No..my experience was something that quite resembles (I imagine) being dropped on your ass from the top of the Empire State Building, falling God knows how many stories to the death of your self-worth and floundering hope that Mr. Right exists. This was a profound experience for me. So profound I have developed an unhealthy pattern of comparison where I pit a potential mate against my idea of perfection, which is Mr. Big. A decade later and he still governs my likes and ideals. I guess that’s why they call him Big. He’s too Big to fail.

Big and I had 2 chance meetings before we actually started seeing each other. The first was July of 2002. My friend and I were in the big Midwestern city from which we hail enjoying liquor and our youth when the meet cute happened. Literally I turned the corner and ran smack right into him. Jesus. He would have been ordinary and I could have turned and never looked back again if he didn’t have those damn Christian Slateresque eyebrows. They were groomed, gorgeous, and perfect. They captivated me instantly and he knew how to use them to his advantage. They were a part of his divinity to me. He introduced himself, his friend, and had no limit to telling me how gorgeous I was and he just wanted my friend and I to join them. My friend, being married at the time and intelligent, declined and I did as well (of course..you never leave a girlfriend hanging!). After this chance encounter, I thought about him often and wondered if I would run into him again in the future.

The future happened September that same year. This time it was Charlotte Grant and myself at a bar in the heart of our hometown (the social hub if you will of the city). At this point in life I was obsessed with two things: My little black dress and red wine. We wore our little black dresses every time we went out and knew we drove throngs of men crazy when we did. To top off the mystique my red wine was always close at hand. I remember sitting at the bar when Big walked up out of nowhere and I said “Oh my god, It’s you.” Hating myself for being so obviously enamored of him by my first fumble, I played him off after that which drove him crazy. He was pretentious, metro sexual, strived to possess everything which he felt was quality, charismatic, affectionate, and simply perfect in my view of how a man should be. We had such lovely banter where he tried impressing me with every word that came out of his mouth but the reality is he didn’t have to say anything. He was facially fucking me with those eyebrows. I committed girlfriend sin and split from Charlotte that night and went back with him to his high rise condo where we drank wine on his high rise deck and smoked Cuban cigars. And when I left the next morning, I was sick as hell from the wine and Cubans, but was pleasantly convinced I was going to spend my life with him.

After that first night a routine developed. I spent every weekend with him and his friends.
I felt like a total bad ass bitch when I was with him. We went to every hot spot where I looked hot and he appreciated that. He cooked me dinner at his home, went to symphonies and ballets together, and spent days shopping at outlet malls and roaming apple orchards. He loved having the most beautiful girl in the room on his arm and I fulfilled this fantasy for him. When we got back from our night or days out we would turn on the television, sit up in bed, I would sip tea, and he would put his arm around me then we would watch for about 20 minutes till the fooling around grew too hot and heavy to even care what we were watching. We never had sex though. (Well..We did but that is a whole other story which I’m sure will be released in the future. It’s one of Charlotte’s favorites because I totally whored myself out for a bottle of wine with Marilyn Monroe’s picture on it. Hey..the bottle is supposedly worth $1000.00. That‘s a decent return)

But there were limitations. He called me. Every time I tried calling him he never answered his phone. But he was quick to call me Friday evenings to pack my bag for the weekend. His condo was impeccable. Never dirty, nothing was ever out of place. Almost like he really didn’t live there. He had rules regarding his bathroom. I was never to enter his bathroom and was only permitted to use his guest bathroom. He had this weird poster board that he had propped up on the top of his armoire which detailed age and a picture of what he wanted to have acquired by that time. (For example I remember he had under 50 a picture of a rolex and a man with a young women sitting next to him which indicated (he explained) married to a trophy wife.) His favorite movie was “American Psycho” and favorite song “If I had a million dollars”. He criticized the shampoo I used preferring I purchase something more expensive. You would have thought I, being a strong and successful woman in my right at that age, would have rebelled but the truth was I loved the parameters he set for me. I loved my boundaries. For some reason I felt obeying his boundaries would prove to him how much I loved and cared about him. How much I wanted to be with him.

Around Christmas of 2002, I remember mentioning to him I had an idea about what to purchase his friends who we saw quite frequently as a Christmas gift. He grew very quiet on the other end and said he had to call me back. He called me back 20 minutes later to inform me our relationship wasn’t working and I could pick up my things at the front desk of his complex. Devastated doesn’t even begin to describe the level of pain and heartbreak I sustained during the death of my idea of perfect.

After I met Big, I have not been able to sustain a relationship with a man for more than 3 months to 1 year. And what is most troubling is I have had serious relationships since then with men who would have made fantastic life partners but something was missing. Big was missing. But let me assure you Charlotte Grant has had 2 strong opinions over the years as to why my Big was completely unable to pursue a serious relationship with me and why I just have to get my ass over it. Her opinions are:

1) He was gay.
Ok Ok now if you read 4 paragraphs up where I detail what we did together it reads like a gay mans manual to social happiness. Ballets and Shopping. He dressed in the latest fashions for men, had George Michael’s greatest videos on DVD, and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” coffee table book. He also had a male companion who would frequently come up from Florida to visit which I was never allowed to tag along. They also went to Colorado together on a ski trip. I forgot about that one till now.

2) He was married..and gay
She also maintains the opinion which supports why he never answered his phone when I called and had to have me gone by noon on Sunday’s. He said it was because Sunday afternoon’s he spent with his family..she might be entirely right on that one. And also because..he was gay..

I can’t say exactly if there was a lesson to be taught here except I believe the Big concept (if you encounter it) is something we must go through for ourselves. It’s different for everyone. I also think it depends on what age we experience Big determines how prepared we are emotionally to handle him (or her). I was 21 when I was lucky enough to encounter him..he was 36. If I would have met Big now at 32, and knowing what I know now, I would have thought he was the biggest fucking douche bag on the planet. But that’s assuming I never met him at 21. Since I did meet him then, and if I ran into him now, I guarantee I would fall apart into a million pieces inside. I would try as mightily as I could to not let him see it but I would be dying on the inside. Because I never got over him. You never get over your Big. I think you never get over your Big because he (or she) represents your idea of relationship perfection.

So I guess I will sum this up with advise which even I myself have been unable to take. Your perfect mate should never make you feel as though something is missing or something is missing with you. If you do feel this way even after you have tried to make changes to make them love you more it’s time to jump ship sweetheart. No man (or woman) is worth the trouble if they are unwilling to go as far as you are for the sake of saving the relationship. There is one thing bigger than the Big and that is your self worth. Believe and know you deserve better. Final thought on why is he (or she) is too Big? They are just that. Too Big for your emotional well being to handle. Walk away even if his Christian Slater eyebrows are begging you not to go. If that’s the case, run as fast as you fucking can.

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