Since Geoff will still be living in San Francisco for about two months after I move to Tucson, this long-distance thing is still going to run its course. But the lighthouse on the shore will be guiding him to me through the course of the summer.
We're spending the first week in June at the new house, painting the bedroom and shopping (!) for furniture. We both hate shopping, but it's a necessary evil. I did find that it's somewhaat enjoyable when you do it with someone you love.
Then he's coming to visit during the Fourth of July weekend. Looking forward to more housework.
So we'll still have to deal with the phone and being apart for weeks at a time.
I've read that people in long-distance relationships often call each other and watch their favorite shows together and comment about them on the phone. That's cute and would work if you're in the same time zone.
Geoff and I did a variation of that. We both agreed to see "Crash" yesterday, and to talk about it on the phone afterward.
It was the best we could do, until we move in together. It was nice talking to him about movies, given that he goes to so few movies. And it was good to make a plan like that. We didn't see the movie at the same time; his started about two hours after mine. But it sort of felt like we were together at the movies, and that's all that matters.
Geoff has always told me to have faith that things will happen in their due course.
Today I found that out when I accepted a job at the Arizona Daily Star as one of their education reporters. I didn't think it would take them less than a week to hire me, so I was surprised to get a call from them.
Now I can breathe easy. Many people around me were worried that I wouldn't get a job before I moved to Tucson, and I was slightly worried, too. I wanted to have money to pay for the house.
I don't have to worry about that. Geoff will be keeping his job in San Francisco for a couple of months, so we both will have steady incomes that will be poured into decorating our home.
I can't stop smiling. But as I write this, I wait for Geoff to call me so I can give him the news. Apparently, he's busy right now.
This has been a great day. I'm looking forward to many more.
On Tuesday I sent out a mass e-mail to friends telling them about my move. Most of them were also learning for the first time about my relationship with Geoff. The people that have written back have been nothing but enthusiastic, including my former roommate when I lived in Colorado Springs. I think he knew I was gay, but bless his heart for respecting my desire to not make it public at the time. I was an elite swimmer then, and coming out in swimming is never, ever done. We've had three gay Olympic swimmers from the United States, but they never came out until after they retired. Certainly there are more out there, but in swimming it's hardly an issue. I do wish, though, that I had had the courage to come out when I was in elite swimming, just to ease my mind and not be secretive about that part of my life.
But now that I'm with Geoff I have no desire to keep him in the shadows.
I've been keeping a big secret from you, dear readers, and it's time you knew the truth.
If this were Soap Opera Land, there'd be about three seconds of tense music, tenser stares and then a fade to black for a commercial break. I'm not gonna play you like that.
Here it is: Geoff and I are moving to Tucson, Ariz., where we closed on a brand-new home last week.
No, this is not April 1. This is real. And it's soooooo great!
When Geoff and I went to Tucson in late February/early March, all we were going to do is spend some time with his parents and check out the place. Neither of us knew a house was calling our names. Tucson's home market is sprouting like a teenager at puberty, and we had to take advantage of it. The value of the home we bought -- four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, two-car garage and new appliances -- went up $4,000. And the concrete hadn't even been poured into the ground!
Obviously, this means the end of our long-distance relationship. But not right away. Geoff will stay in San Francisco for a couple of months to finish things there, though he'll visit often to help get our home in order.
The best thing about this is, obviously, the end of our long-distance relationship. Now, we can begin to enjoy the idiosyncrasies of each other's physical presence and start the new chapters in our lives.
I'll continue to give you updates up to June 3, my last full day in Albuquerque.
I went to the grocery store last weekend and saw two gay men shopping together.
How do I know they were two gay men and not just two roommates? Please. A 10-year-old would have noticed it, too. Not that they were being overly gay or something. But it was obvious.
Just made me think about the fact that distance keeps Geoff and I from experiencing the little things in this relationship. But when we see each other later this week, we'll take full advantage of those "little things."
Holding hands while riding in the car together. Sharing a laugh. Grazing my hand over his shoulder while making lunch. Waking up and seeing him in the same bed as me.
You know, the little things. But they mean a lot with Geoff because he makes every effort to make them important as well.
I haven't written because I've been living in a different plane lately.
Next week, Geoff and I will spend four days together in Arizona. His parents live there, and we'll be able to stay with them while enjoying the weather and whatnot.
The three months apart have not been as bad as I thought. I've had times where I wanted to hop on a plane and surprise him with a weekend visit because I couldn't wait any longer. But those desires subsided when I looked at plane fares.
Now we're going to spend some quality time together again, and though I'll be very busy in the days leading up to the trip, it will be a good feeling to walk out of the airport and see him waiting to pick me up in his parent's car. Lack of sleep will not be a factor.
I just have to say to anyone in a long-distance relationship that three months is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long to be apart. Even for Petra, the New Zealander dating a man from Los Angeles, you need to work out schedules to maybe meet halfway in Hawaii or something once every six weeks or something.
It's just not healthy to stay away from your loved one this long. Though I will say the anticipation of seeing Geoff again has somehow taken an inch or two off my waist because I'm now wearing a pair of jeans I used to have to use a crowbar to get into!
Every cloud has a silver lining, I guess.
I've said many times that this blog is cheaper than therapy. My entry about being a little peeved at Geoff the other day during a phone conversation has prompted people to give some very good advice.
This one is from Charlotte Hill, the most gifted artist I have ever encountered. You can actually see one of her designs in the Trib in the La Vida section.
Even face to face relationships have those nights and days Jeff. I came to work the other day having left our usually pleasant breakfast in such a bad mood--so angry I could hardly concentrate. People have different ways of arguing, different ways of dealing with things, and sometimes communication just breaks down.
Sometimes a little time away from each other can actually help you sort things out before you go off saying things you wish you hadn't in the heat of the moment. Actually it was probably good that y ou ended the conversation then. Before I came home that day we both had cooled off, and both had remembered that our bottom line is that we love each other too. We were able to finish our interrupted conversation rationally and constructively.
It happens in all situations. Just keep remembering the bottom line, and remember we all interperret things in different ways according to our vastly different life experiences.
And this one is from Petra, the New Zealand lady who's in a relationship with a guy in Los Angeles.
I know exactly what you mean, I get sick and tired too. I think that the only way to deal with it is by thinking its on a personal hit at you - they have had a bad a day and are frustrated at what has happened to them. You're there, if only by phone and so they take it out on you. They start thinking your not there or they can't be there with you, but then that's another issue...didn't someone say that you hurt the ones you love? or something like that. It's true though, your there because at the end of the day you want to be with them, even when they are throwing their toys out of the cot. Your there because you love them and they love you. And thats why I'm putting up with the distance issue.
Charlotte and Petra make very good points. At the end of the day, it's our love that matters most. And I do love him more than I can describe.
Geoff and I are going to spend an extended weekend together soon in Arizona. His parents live there, and we're going to hang out together for a few days. The thing about meeting in a neutral place is a good tip; neither of us have the pressure of playing host and we're both free to relax.
I'm going to paraphrase a speech the fantastic Wanda Sykes gives in the comedy "Monster-in-Law," which I saw in a sneak preview last night:
I'm sick. I'm sick, sick, sick. And when I'm not sick, I'm tired. I'm sick and tired.
Of what you ask? Of this long-distance relationship. Sometimes it makes me so ill and so worn out -- literally -- that I wonder if I can see it through to its end - the day when Geoff and I live together in the same city. When that is, I can't tell you.
Of course, I really want to see it to its end, but when I have phone conversations with Geoff that start out happy and cheerful but end with me more depressed, I wonder if there's energy left on both sides.
Last night Geoff had a little incident with his mail. I call it little; Geoff calls it a catastrophe. I tried -- as I always do -- to make him see that it's no big deal. He DID get the mail, after all. But for some reason he progressively withdrew more and more, to the point where I had no choice but to end the conversation and went to bed angry at him.
It's stress, I know, but I don't know how much longer I can stand the brunt of it. I can take stress and wash it away fairly easily. Geoff needs a day or two, or a conversation with me, since I'm the only one who he tells this stuff to.
Can I make it through the remaining months -- or will it be years? -- of the long-distance chapter of the relationship. I want to, and so I will. But I hate going to bed angry. I hate waking up in the morning not wanting to talk to Geoff for the whole day.
But the bottom line is I still love him. I guess that's the only line.
I've found it! A long-distance relationship that spans the Pacific Ocean! Honestly, I didn't think it was possible.
This one spans from Los Angeles to New Zealand. When I went to Australia three years ago (where I first met Geoff, by the way), I thought the 14-hour flight was unending. Knowing that the one I love was separated from me by such a vast expanse of seawater would probably make me go mad.
But Petra writes that it's been pretty good so far:
I've just found your blog - and a very interesting read. I too am in a long distance relationship - my boyfriend lives in Los Angeles and I live in New Zealand - so thats about 12,000 miles I think. I always said that I would never ever do a long distance relationship - but I'm in one now and it's going well. We met nearly 5 months ago in New Zealand at my sisters wedding - quite funny in that I was the bridesmaid and he was the best man - in the space of only 5 days we had decided to continue our relationship as he headed back to LA. Some days we spend most of time talking on the phone and we email and text and ichat now. I went over to LA to see him in March and am going back again in about two weeks. I just want to say that its refreshing to read about other people's experiences and know what they went through and see similar things.
Best of luck to you, Petra! I hope wedding bells are in your future!
Geoff and I had the kind of weekend that is murder for anyone in a long-distance relationship.
You might remember that I was to go to a banquet Saturday night honoring the state's best, according to Associated Press judges. And you might remember how much I wanted to have Geoff on my arm that night.
Turns out the event wasn't as big as I thought it would be, and I only got second place, so it wasn't the outcome I silently hoped for. But in any case, I saw some men and women bring their spouses to help celebrate their big night, and I just wanted Geoff next to me as my stomach turned in anticipation.
But Geoff was otherwise engaged. He was swimming in a meet in California, and he kept mentioning that he wanted me to be there. I would have been in a heartbeat. To hear him have so much fun with his friends over the phone was a little sad for me, knowing I could have enjoyed it, too, if I had bought a plane ticket to spend a weekend with him.
Geoff also had a big sermon to deliver, and I wanted to be there to support him so badly.
This isn't the first time we've lamented that we couldn't be there to support each other. And it won't be the last. It's a good exercise -- and an interesting observation to see how much you want to support the one you love when you actually get together permanently.