Sunday, April 18, 2010

Better Before You Know Me

"I want to get to know you," he said.

I smiled to myself. Guys don't usually bother with such things. But I'm guarded. Because I know how this goes. You don't want to get to know me. Not all of me, anyway.

You want to know the girl who is really interested in reading and literature, who is always looking for a recommendation for a good book. You want to know the girl who has spent all of her college electives studying anthropology, archaeology, and religion because those are the things that really interest her, even if she can't make a career out of them. You want to know the girl who plays the piano, and dabbled in ballet, to satisfy her creative side. You want to know the girl who will be right there on the couch next to you every Sunday for football, and gets out and plays softball in the spring, because she's sort of a sporty kind of girl. You want to know the girl who is plowing through a nineteen credit semester and working part time, she's that motivated and driven.

You don't want to know the girl who has had significant struggles with eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. You don't want to know the girl who had other men who have been a part of her life - the ones who took advantage of her, and the ones who hurt her. You don't want to know the difficulties she's had in my life that have shaped her personality, and made her the way she is. You don't want to know the obstacles, or how she overcame them. You don't want to know about the baggage, because you don't want to think about it. So you don't want to hear about it. In fact, you probably don't even want to hear all of the positive traits, because at a point, that girl you wanted to get to know just got a little too intimidating, she's that passionate, and has that much of a thirst for life.

You don't want to know me as anything different than what you perceive me to be.

"Well," he said.

I waited in silence.

"You've certainly thrown a few speed bumps into our situation."

So that's what it is. There are aspects of my personality that are "speed bumps". You get over them, but you're shaken up. Because I'm not that pretty little picture that you had in your head. And while the parts of me you do want to get to know are really great, the parts you don't want anything to do with have probably had a more significant impact on the way I behave, and the person I am.

If I hesitate when you lean in to kiss me, it's because the part you didn't want to know is terrified.

But you don't want to hear that.

Do you think you're an easier person to get along with before someone gets to know you? Do you have a lot of people in your life who really know you? Do you think that when we try to get to know others, we are only superficial about it, and only want to know the good things? Do you think we shouldn't share the bad things that we've experienced with others, or do you think it's important to be honest?


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