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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Team Plan B

I take movies very seriously. Not really movies themselves, but the experience of going to see a movie. The previews, the smooshy seats, the smell of air conditioning mixed with stale popcorn - I love all of it from the bottom of my heart. The ex and I used to go to see movies all the time. He was my favorite person in the world to see a movie with because he's perfectly warm and sitting beside him in the dark made me feel invincible. We would see movies all the time in Paris and I remember glancing over at him during Hitchcock matinees and absolutely falling in love with his profile outlined by the flickering screen. If there's one thing I took from Paris, it's the memory of sitting in a tiny, cheap theater, looking over at that profile, and feeling like the safest girl in the entire world.

I think the hardest part of a major break up is losing that sense of security, the realization that your team, the one you had planned on playing on for the rest of your life, really is being divided and its players traded to other teams. I think that when you find yourself without a team, it's crucial to create a Plan B Team, to organize friends and relatives and hobbies to fill up the time you would normally allot to making your former team stronger and to getting laid. For me, coming to Chicago has been a really crucial part of creating that Team Plan B. I was in a relationship for nearly nine years and when that ended, I sincerely thought I would never have another team, at least, not one that would stick with me in spite of my flaws.

The silver lining to what was previously considered an earth-shattering break up is the realization that I do have a team...in fact, I have a Plan B Team that just may be much bigger and stronger than Team Plan A ever was. I have a fantastic team of incredibly selfless people that have been right there while I've gained and lost weight, cried to the point of shaking, gone crazy with retracing all of my steps in the past nine years, moved to a different city, finished the biggest and riskiest work project of my life, called at 3AM routinely because I saw the wrong picture or heard the wrong song, rehashed every shard of my previous relationship, not once but routinely in an effort to try to figure out what the fuck went wrong, and beaten myself into the ground trying to figure out how to make things work again. They've canceled evening plans to run to my house for an emergency cry/girly movie nights. They've hopped on planes to come visit. They've moved me from apartment to apartment, given me a place to stay when my heat and water accidentally got cut off last winter, taken time off work to trounce with me through The Big Apple, made me comfort food when I was sick, hugged me for an inappropriately long amount of time when I just needed someone to hold on to, and listened endlessly, endlessly, endlessly without judgment. One even spent a full month growing a mustache just because it would make me smile (more to come on that later). The upside to losing love is the opportunity to find it elsewhere, in freely offered acts of kindness and novelty facial hair.

After what could quite easily be classified as the worst weekend I've had in nearly a year, my sweet, wonderful Team Plan B was there, listening with the patience of something that has twice the patience of a saint. On Saturday, I spent the evening sitting in the dark with the Chicago-based leg of Team Plan B, watching a movie that involves unicorn battles and airships and gay pirates. Midway through the movie, when I glanced at their silvery profiles, I felt a perfect warmth and more taken care of than I have in my entire life.

Thank you Mom, Steph, Leah, Maura, Steve, Dan, Justin, and David for being the greatest Team Plan B on earth.

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