I realized, a few years ago [yes, it took that long], that the reason I generally suck at relationships is because I hate to be wrong.
Not in the small things – I’d rather be happy than right, most of the time, unless it involves horses, bears, or salmon – but there’s a considerable amount of usually unconscious resistance at the idea that I’ve been wrong about…me. I have, admittedly, some difficulty facing the reality of having made a slightly regrettable choice a little too long ago to be personally acceptable. Denial morphs into the kind of optimism that's often referred to as "delusion." Somehow, it's much easier to blame the guy who breaks your heart than concede that you don't know yourself enough to make semi-prudent choices. "You're breaking up with me?" to my ears and ego sounds a lot better than, "...but how could I have been so completely wrong [about you]?"
It's made me a little commitment-shy. The shadow of a doubt tends to linger, like the creepy friend of a friend who won't get the hint that you are - under no circumstances - going home with him. Everything becomes a little questionable. Because who is to really know? Certainly not you.
There is little comfort in self-awareness of my complete lack of self-awareness. Like getting an award for recognizing how dumb you are, there's no real winner in this situation. You might be holding a gold star, but in the end, you're still stupid. And if you can figure out that much, well, then, the idea of base jumping into the abyss of "he must care because I do" starts to lose its philanthropic appeal.
It becomes easier then, to turn in your parachute, so to speak, and fantasize; to assemble a dream date in perpetuum, and front like you’re not scared shitless of being wrong, again. At least for a little while [or until some good friends throw you off that dating cliff, whichever comes first]. That would be the normal thing to do. What wouldn’t be so normal would be to swing to the opposite extreme, to dump all your chips onto one hope, with fingers crossed, until death [or finances or too many changes] do us part.
I married myself off to Lotto-Belisol earlier this year. It’s been a hell of a ride, since.
We’ve already had some ups and downs, but the beauty of sports fan-dom [and probably, arranged marriages] is that the decision has been made for you. You’ve been committed, which means you better fucking make the most of it. Despite the mega hotness present on the team, it’s not easy, but I’m learning. A lot. Like how worrying about team rankings and Greipel’s lead-out train might temporarily make me feel better about being completely powerless, but ultimately won’t make any difference in the end. And how my mental health is slowly becoming dependent on the ability to maintain a frantic sense of optimism at the beginning [and end, if the results were less than spectacular] of each stage. I'm even trying out visualization, i.e., focusing on something and trying to will it to simply happen. It usually goes like this: JULY. GREIPEL. GREEN.
I still fall back into bad habits. There’s been pouting and groans of disappointment. I’ve used my fan status as an excuse to slip into bouts of self-righteous rage. I’ve even considered divorce and infidelity. Neither are really options...or so I like to tell myself, though my relationship with Lotto is more like an unrequited crush than a marriage of two very unlikely partners [most of the time, I don't even know if Lotto knows I exist...!]. The relationship, though, remains oddly fulfilling. In that ridiculously fun sort of way.
I know, I know. You're all rolling your eyes and muttering things about how it's still the honeymoon period, and how I'll end up fleeing into the arms of OPQS or Sky before the end of the Giro. But really, do I come off as so fickle? And so predictably boring? And would I set the picture above as my iPhone background if I wasn't 120% committed?
No, you're right. That's all bullshit I've spewed before, only to end up either very, very sad and/or very, very pissed off. But apparently being terribly wrong about everything doesn't buy you karma. You still end up being wrong. Kind of like any good lottery. But sometimes, like when Kenny Dehaes wins Handzame, or when JVDB grabs 4th place on the queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya, you will be right, and all that blind, manic trust will somehow make everything that much sweeter. And you'll just know that vicariously tethering your soul/happiness/sanity to the wheels of H[enderson,]G[reipel,]H[ansen] et al. this season was the right thing to do.
Or here's to hoping, anyway.
[Amazing pictures above obviously taken from various sources.]