… sitting in a tree.

It seems the impossible has happened and yet no clocks stopped, continents shifted, or even an eyelid flutter at the nearby table as he casually mentioned over lunch this afternoon that he was engaged to be married to his medium term, and long time suffering, girlfriend of 3yrs. After living together for only a few months this momentous event was a long time coming and this weekend past on a romantic break-away to the KZN coast the question was asked to a back-drop of crashing waves, a deserted white beach, and a clear sky with a gorgeous sunset colouring the mood of love.

To say that our friendship is a strange one is an understatement and pretty much is tantamount to comparing the Eiffel Tower to an ordinary steel art installation (which it is). We seem to have nothing in common other than the fact that we are friends. Okay that’s not true … we move in the same social circles, belong to the same clubs, and play tennis twice a month between our lunches. He is a successful corporate attorney for a global petro-chemical conglomerate, devastatingly handsome (blonde hair, ice-blue eyes and the cutest smile) and can be pretty much defined as the holy-grail of straight men.

For months our lunches have taken the conversation back and forth debating whether now is the time or not for him to propose, how he would eventually go about doing it and when. I was always sceptical that he would as he didn’t seem ready to commit. At least not immediately but now I think it’s it true when he says “… does anyone truly know when it’s right?” As I sat there I wondered how do you know? Are there signs? Fireworks? Is it right when it feels comfortable? Or is comfortable a sign that there aren’t any fireworks? Is hesitation a sign that it’s not right? Or is it just a sign that you’re not ready? As the idea filled up my afternoon I had to ask: in matters of love; how do you know when it’s right?

For most of my life the word most often used to describe me is ambitious. Constantly moving forward, I propel myself towards the sometimes amorphous goal that comes from dreams, desires, and an inner need to create a legacy for those in my life who cannot. Sure I’ve tripped, stumbled, and fallen on a rocky professional path as I find a place to call home but at the end of the dark days I still have the constant belief that things will work out in the end. No matter what. But now that I am creating that future for myself things tend to get a little bumpy and there is no safety belt to hold you firm.

But when it comes to matters of the heart my last few relationships, barring the Squirrel, were all unexpectedly driven by a want to be in a relationship with someone. And when anyone will do it’s not surprising when things fall apart in the forced circumstances and I am left with the angst of growing old alone. From paper perfect persons who failed to translate to lover, fallen public heroes adored by few, and the many other’s that have passed like a merry go round through and out my door I guess that they weren’t the one that would be for all my time. And I’m comfortable with that.

Knowing that there is someone like you looking for someone like me to hold hands in the park, take walks on the beach, and maybe someday make the commitment that equals an engagement ring as we both look into the sunset with crashing waves a symphony to our eternal love is enough to get me through the holidays. A time of togetherness. But we’re never alone are we? For now I have my family, some great friends albeit far, far away and a certain Bradley Cooper-esq guy to have fun with over the weekends. Everything else is one someone else’s timetable.

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