Last week I shared how our relationship went through the forming and storming stages. The forming stage was easy, dating and falling in love is always fun. The storming stage was a disaster. I shared the 10 things I learned while we went through our trials. The first of the 10 was, “Sometimes what attracted you to the person can actually be their biggest flaw.” Catch up on the complete list of lessons here: . To get the complete backstory, check out , , , and .
In last week’s story, I gave an example of a guy named Rock. Rock is handsome, talented, idealistic even! But we found out that what makes Rock attractive, are the very reasons he is undatable. Realizing this about John was a revelation for me. As our “storming” stage disintegrated into shouting matches, I observed something baffling at the time. A lot of the things that pissed me off were connected to a character trait of his that I had been attracted to! This was an epiphany that changed our relationship.
Case in point, John was popular. He was popular back in our childhood days, but he was also popular in the local Hollywood circles. This had been very attractive to me when we first met. Every time we went out, we got into the coolest, exclusive clubs in LA. We barely paid for anything, and he knew all bartenders and wait staff. I remember on our second or third date. We were out to dinner, and I happened to mention to John that I one day wished to go to a particular Hollywood club. This club was super exclusive. The waitlist was months long, and even then, you had to commit to table service, which meant you would be spending in the thousands (yup, that’s Hollywood for you). It was a celebrity playhouse, and not just anybody could get in. After dinner, he drove us directly to the club I had mentioned. We valeted (he gave the valet guy a hip-hop hug), walked by the long line of hopefuls waiting to get into the club, and strolled right in. I was flabbergasted! I was thoroughly impressed.
At the time, this kind of “pull” was like sliding an ecstasy pill into my drink (don’t do this, ever), I found it ridiculously cool. As a result, I was euphorically attracted to him. Then one day, I was sitting in our first apartment, alone crying. We had fought for the second or third time that week because I had planned a quiet night in, and John had got a call from one of his actor (bartender) friends and had left me high and dry. “It’s Sam,” John had said. “You remember he was auditioning for that leg commercial? I told you about it,” he added. As if him telling me about it meant that I now had to be vested in the outcome. “Well, he got the gig and wants to celebrate, I gotta go,” I argued in vain that we’d had a busy week, and I had barely spent any time with him. He left, angry, and I stayed at home crying.
As I sat alone crying, that scene of us dawdling past a line of people and unceremoniously walking into the most exclusive club in Hollywood came back to me. I recalled how he had fist-bumped the bouncer, who had asked him if he would be at poker later. At the time, this had been an innocuous exchange. I was too starry-eyed by the moment to question anything. Now, those (illegal) poker nights meant that John didn’t get home till 3-4 in the morning. And all those cool friends that got us into every bar, club and let us drink for free went out every night, and they took John with them most nights. What had started out as the most fun, most exciting time of my life had turned into a double-edged sword. That is when I realized that sometimes what attracted you to the person can actually be their biggest flaw.
Where do I even begin with this? I will start with some context. Before Sly and I reconnected, I lived in Hollywood primarily by myself. A friend and I ran an after-hours club in Hollywood for a short while. It is at this time that I got acquainted with the Hollywood club scene. By the time I met Sly, I had moved out of Hollywood and was staying with a friend. Whenever Sly visited, I would regale her and my friend with my fantastic tales of glamorous Hollywood nights. They both half-jokingly called my bluff and started calling me Mr. Hollywood, teasingly.
So, when Sly and I moved to Hollywood, I was determined to show her the good life. Partly to prove that I wasn’t a fraud and mostly to impress her. We partied! I reconnected with all my old connect[ion]s. Most of them had moved up to club management or had become significant promoters on the scene. Some had even landed some semi-major roles in the acting universe and threw semi-lavish parties at their semi-amazing houses in the Hollywood Hills. I took Sly to everything. We become known as “John and Sly” because we were never apart. If I was somewhere, she was there or would be there later. We were inseparable. Then one day, she decided she didn’t want to go out anymore. Okay, I am being dramatic, it wasn’t that sudden. It was gradual, but she expected me to transition with her. Why? I was the exact same person she had met, she had changed. Yet, she was mad at me for not changing with her?
He makes a compelling point. Which is actually the perfect segway to the next lesson that I learned from our storming stage, “You don’t get to choose the good bits and leave out the bad.” Oh! Regina makes a return – remember her? Don’t miss out! Subscribe, follow, return. It gets juicier and juicier, trust us.