The Life I Chose

(A post with no pictures and even fewer niceties.)

You know that cliché quote about missing someone, about how it’s not about how long it’s been, but how when you’re doing something and you wish the other person was there?

Well, I call bullshit. For me, anyway. For me, it’s both. Let me explain.

As you very well know, if you’ve spent more than two seconds on this blog of mine, I’ve got this boyfriend. His name is Mario, and no—he’s not an Italian plumber with a penchant for bopping goombas on the head; he’s Spanish and super smart and sweet and everything I could have wanted in a guy. /End gushing.

I met him when I was over in Salamanca for a year. Unlike so many times before, I didn’t meet him because I was trying. In fact, the first thing I asked him was why he was there, on the doorstep of the place I worked. (Perhaps in a rude tone? Ask him if you want to know.) My mother had explicitly told me not to date any Spanish guys. (More on that later.) And let’s be honest, most of the time I was not attracted to the Spanish men I encountered. I had experience with mullets, people—mullets and piropos and skeezy club-touching. So no, I did not go there with any intentions of meeting someone, let alone Mr. Right.

I asked him out. Well, kind of, sort of by accident. It sounds like a big excuse, but we were all meeting up for drinks at midnight, so I suggested meeting earlier, guessing (correctly!) that Mario wasn’t fond of staying out that late. We met, I spilled wine, life was good—people, I’d obviously won him over.

And two days later, I had already started thinking about dating him, the kind of thinking you hope no one else ever finds out about. Good thing he felt the same way and blurted out the words I’d remember forever, “La verdad es que me gustas.” Giddy, I could think of nothing else but him for weeks.

So I suppose I did sign up for this. I signed up to date this guy, this foreigner, this man in whom I could find no fault. (Faults come later, FYI.) I had no idea what I was in for.

In the past two and a half years, the following things have occurred:

  • I quit the internship I was in because they had “forbidden” from dating anyone. I’m so bad.
  • I was detained in the Madrid airport and sent back home because I had inadvertently overstayed my welcome in the EU.
  • I applied for my visa, and (apparently) had it sent back two times to the Chicago embassy before they finally got it through. I was paranoid they’d say no due to my experience in Madrid.
  • I spent a year teaching English in Zamora, but hated the job. It was rough, but we were together.
  • I’ve spent so much time apart from him that I don’t even want to think about it.
  • I’ve contemplated 1,001 ways to get me there or him here. Fruitless so far, but there’s always the fun red-tape-filled marriage process to look forward to.

In these past years, I’ve had the experience of missing Mario in the moment, wishing he were there to do or experience something with me: a new apartment, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, holidays. All of it was hard, harder than I’d like to admit. But the time really has begun to wear on me.

How long?

I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of being told to wait, that things will be figured out one day. I know this—I do!—but being apart seems harder with each passing day. Someday, I hope I’ll look back at this time period and know that it only served to make us stronger, but right now?

Right now it really sucks.

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14 comments

  1. I’m so sorry Kaley! I totally get this. I mean, you have way more of a right to bitch than I do seeing as it’s only been 1.5 months I’ve been apart from FBF, but just being apart sucks. I miss him constantly and I miss being with him and who we are when we’re together. Be strong! I know you two can make it and you both love each other and as FBF keeps telling me, that’s all that really matters.
    Bisous copine! (kiss girl friend)

  2. I said I like, not because I liked it, but there was no other way to say I feel for you! My wife is from New Zealand and we were caught in so much red tape trying to stay together and this is even after the marriage was completed! Our congressman had to step in to help cut the red tape. Its a good thing my dad had a connection with him! Anyway, Just letting you know I feel for ya! You can get through this and things will work out!

  3. What about getting married? Or getting pareja de heco so you can live in Spain or he with you? Maybe that’s a big step and I am sure that you’ve thought of it! I understand your pain after more than 6 years here. It’s not easy to get papers and do something you like. Good luck!

  4. LDRs are so hard, and not fun at all. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way! It sucks now, but (hopefully) before you know it, all will be right in the world again! Fingers crossed for everything to work out in a timely manner :)

  5. Oh, that is so tough! I mean, it’s hard to be away from friends… I can only imagine how difficult it is to be away from your boyfriend. Plus, it sounds like you two really, really connect. I hope you guys find a solution soon!

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