Well, "Jacob" is back in the house, sleeping on my couch, but he brought an offering of gratitude with him--a new(er) computer for me. And boy howdy, does this thing run better than my 8-year-old Dell. I'm amazed at how fast everything comes up when I request it. It's the same damn internet that I've had with the old computer, just much, much faster processing. I wish that I had more time to play around with it, but I hooked it up Sunday morning and promptly went to work, and I'm on here briefly right now before I go to class and then to work. Go, go, go.
The only thing interesting to happen in the last few weeks is that my girlfriend and I had very informal chats concerning marriage and living together. She is ready to leave the company she's worked for because of incompetence and corruption (her bosses, not hers). But to pick up her life and move here to Chicago with me, she's insisting that we first be married, lest we live in sin, or else she would move here and get her own place. At some point she posed the very direct question of whether I felt like it was the right time for us to get married. To my surprise, I hemmed and hawed before stammering out a very unconvincing "yes." Why the hesitation? I've been thinking a lot about that, and I think that I'm very scared of what I feel for her, what we have, and how I've felt in the past about other women I dated. Basically, I'm afraid that if I feel good enough about our relationship to marry her, at that moment I'll panic and feel like I have to find another lover to hedge my bet, or I'll panic worrying about whether I'm being stupid fully committing to a woman 1,000 miles away who could be doing anyone and anything she wants, even though she's given me zero reason to believe she's unfaithful. It's all about my past and my feelings whenever I've felt like I'm exposing myself or putting myself in a vulnerable position. Marriage is the ultimate vulnerable position, letting the world know before God that you are completely off the market and that you're going to hell if you can't resist the normal temptations that most humans encounter daily. And I guess I'm wondering, if I'm always, for the rest of my days, going to be a little afraid of temptation, then when do I get to the point where I'm still secure enough to get married? If we wait until I'm to the point where I don't want to look at other women, we'll be waiting forever, because I'm always going to have my head turned by a hottie. That doesn't mean I don't love my girlfriend and want her in my life permanently. But what the hell does it mean? Am I still at risk of one day cheating, despite having cheated on two girlfriends and not being able to sleep while doing so? Am I really that big of a turd? I'd like to answer that there's no way I'd hurt my girlfriend like that, but cheating isn't so much about hurting others as it is a measure of how secure you are in yourself, and I've never had a lot of self-respect in reserve. See, if you think you're all that, you can look at a hot woman and say, "I've got a good woman at home, and she would never stray from me because I'm all that, and I'm not going to stray from her because I don't have to take advantage of every single sexual opportunity." But I've been keyed in to trying to take advantage of every sexual opportunity since I was 13 because I didn't know how many I'd ever get, you know, being fat and ugly and weird. It's a lot more difficult to shut that off than I ever thought it would be. Am I more confident in myself in general than at any other point in my life? Yep--performing relatively well in my job, kicking ass in school, paying my bills and my rent on time, and being a generally good person. Am I so confident that a thin Filipina with full lips and a great rack (I work with one of these, and she's a flirt, too) could come on strong, theoretically slipping her hand down my pants in the break room, and I could flat shoot her down despite my carnal desires? I think I would, but I'm not 100% sure, and it scares the shit out of me. I suppose until I can answer that with no hesitation, I shouldn't be getting married, but that's my concern: Will I ever answer that with no hesitation, and if not, where's the threshold where I should be committing to someone in an act of marriage?
At least it's a lot cheaper to see my girlfriend now. Megabus.com has been running discount bus service between various Midwestern cities for a few years now, and after the end of March, they will start a Chicago to Memphis line. How discount, you say? If you pre-order a ticket early enough, you can get it for $1. It's a 10-hour ride, so neither of us will be popping in unexpectedly, but if we can get our schedules in sync, we should see each other a lot more than usual this year. That can only be a good thing, because for better or for worse, the more time we spend with each other, the closer we can get to deciding if we really want to commit to each other as man and wife.