Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Attention Deficit Disorder

My parents are in town this week, and it is the first time they are meeting Inna. To my surprise, they seemed to get along well enough fairly effortlessly. They weren’t best friends or anything, but they were cordial and conversational and generally seemed to appreciate the company. So in my book that’s a success.

Well yesterday Inna calls me and asks if she would be up for her cooking a meal for the parentals. I tell her that’s an awesome idea and we work out a way for it to be a surprise for them. So I keep them out late, get them good and hungry (to the point of complaining) and then take them home for them to realize that dinner is already cooked and ready, all courtesy of awesome Inna. Dinner is a success and everyone is happy.

After dinner, Inna planned to head home, but we ended up starting to watch a movie instead, The Constant Gardener. I have been trying to get Inna to stay with (like usual) since the night before, but she has felt uncomfortable because of my parents also being there. Understandable, but it was also my parent’s idea that she can stay. Regardless of actually being welcome, she felt unwelcome so she intended to leave at some point.

The Constant Gardener is a good movie, and like a good movie (especially a thriller) it draws you in and holds your attention. So I was hooked. Inna actually spent most of the beginning of the movie on the phone with her mother in the back room, so when she got off the phone, she came back and told me that she would have to be leaving soon. i.e. Walk me to the door and show me out… and yes I know you are really into the movie. She even did not rush me to leave right away, she let me wait till there was a less intense moment to walk her out.

It was honestly my initial intent to walk her to the door and to get back to the movie, but she made it clear that she wanted me to walk her to the CAR which was a much longer trip. But despite the movie moving at full swing, I wanted to do it. Plus I knew I would be yelled at if I did not. So I put on my shoes, tell my mom to remember everything that happens in the movie, and Inna and I head to the elevators. We are having little smooches and small talk all the way to the car, and all is well. Once at the car we hug and kiss, and the conversation we were having switches to another topic. But before she finishes the sentence, I tell her something like “can we please not start another conversation, I REALLY want to see the end of this movie.” I know she knows that I was really into the movie, so I thought that was a reasonable request.

Evidently it was not. She gets upset. Pushes me away. Tells me things like, you should not have even walked me down in the first place… yada yada yada, and I end up scrambling trying to figure out what went wrong. We end up talking for another five minutes (a lot longer than we probably would have if I had not said anything) about why she was upset and me trying to make her feel better. She tells me that she should be more important than a movie and that I should want to spend time with her especially since we are not getting to stay the night. I tell her I want you to spend the night and that I think that coming down here in the first place was showing you that you were more important than the movie.

I assume you all can see both sides of this story. Like most conflicts, I feel each side has a point, but that often one point is a little more reasonable than the other. It’s rare, but I do feel that my side is sometimes unreasonable. This is not one of them. Why was the walk down not enough? Is it unreasonable to want to get back to the movie? If not, how does one go about asking that in a different way?

I am actually opening myself up to the idea that relationships can be work, and these questions are proof. Before my philosophy was more like… if she can’t understand me then we should not be together. That might be a valid stance, but I am willing to give this other side a chance and that involves questioning myself and learning and changing and growing. I know no one is a relationship expert, but give me your two cents…

New Approach

It has been bothering me lately that I have not been blogging as of late. But to be honest, my life has become a lot more full since I got into this new relationship, and I just have not really had the need to share things as much. But last night I realized that there is a way to enjoy my relationship and blog at the same time.

It occurred to me that I am often making Inna mad about something. Whether its something I am doing, or saying, or thinking… she gets upset and stomps off or closes up or something. Some of this is her being silly, or wanting attention, but probably most of it is me being the bad boyfriend that I usually am.

So I am going to start documenting the incidents (as long as they are not too personal) and analyze what it is that I am doing wrong and what I can do to fix it. Sort of like relationship self-counseling, but I also want any readers to give their two cents as well. Unless I somehow find a way to be a better boyfriend, this idea will give me endless material :)

So here goes.