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the last straw

We had wonderful plans for New Year's Eve - a few good friends would come over, we would play games, eat food, watch movies, laugh and have good conversations, be warmed and filled and feel all good about ourselves. It was not to be so. Within 24 hours, all of our invited friends had informed us that they could not come - good excuses too, like previous commitments or sickness. When the number finally dwindled to zero, I snapped. It was the last straw. I got mad. What was the point in making these giant efforts day in and day out to connect to people and be a part of their lives when they just turned around and rejected you? I felt alone and abandoned and undesireable and unpopular. I was mad at people for saying NO and I was mad at myself for expecting too much and mad at God for not making it all right somehow. So this was how 2007 was going to close - on a pitifully sad and low note.

Or not. Somewhere, in the back of my mind beyond the lies and overblown misperceptions, behind the dark cloud of anger hovering over my soul, there was a glimmer. A spark of something better and brighter than what I was experiencing, and it offered itself up to me, waiting to be embraced. Okay, why not? What did I have to lose? It is amazing and annoying to me how tightly I hold onto my disappointments sometimes. Hope is standing at the back of the room jumping up and down and waving its arms, and I just stare at the floor filthy with my tattered inadequacies, choosing to be blind.

There are these scenarios of what I think my life should look like, of what patterns faith and hope and love should draw on my days and years, of how people should respond to give me maximum lift, and most especially the perfect, romantic, cheerful, culminative ego-boosting end-of-chapter totally fiction but oh so desirable extraordinary fusion of events that I think should be a regular occurrence in my life, especially on important days. And it is hard to let go of these fairy tales and see what is right in front of me, what good and perfect and real gift is being offered instead, right now, from the hand of a loving friend.

So I let the fantasy party go that night and saw Dean in front of me and we spent a wonderful, quiet, fun, silly, meaningful, random, memorable and very satisfying evening together. It involved popcorn, a car wash, donuts in the parking lot, a surprise meeting of friends, a funny movie, pizza, snuggling, and shared laughter and love. This was not the party I chose, but the party that chose me. It is nice to be chosen.

This is a fire pit at my friends' place in Ontario, taken the day before they got married.

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