Much has been written before about the previous Great Relationship--that started in 1984, continued until 1987 when I relocated to Arizona—and then restarted miraculously 22 years later. Entries on this very site that describe a "Flooded Basement", for example. In recollection it's as if I was sent off to "wander around in the woods" during this time, emerging just before the reuniting.
One of the experiences/relationships I had during this period was for the most part based on the belief that, for something big to happen, there had to be a good reason--i.e. something better was on the way. After all, why else would such a perfect pairing as the Great Relationship have to end, if not for something better?
Here is some necessary background: growing up in the 1960s, one of my favorite television shows was the original "Hawaii Five-O". I watched it for years. It wasn't the Hawaiian locale I enjoyed as much as it was the excellent writing and superb performances.
Fast forward to the mid-90s. Television commercial for a company that manufactures air conditioning & heating equipment features a silent pitchman. In one ad he dons a grass hula skirt and does a hula dance to a catchy traditional Hawaiian tune called "The Hukilau Song". I thought the ad was funny, but I really liked that song. So much so that I searched and found it on a 45 rpm record, which I played often. And, also in the mid 90s, there was a TV channel that offered reruns of "Hawaii Five-O", which I was able to enjoy again for the first time in years.
Fast forward now to March 1999. Online dating is in its infancy, and has a certain appeal. Like many then--and since--I met my share of odd and offbeat characters, both online and in person. Many of these possessed some socially unacceptable quality that made it easy to understand why they were still--or at least presently--Unattached.
Also, few looked like the picture they chose to upload. Some were so bad it was almost comical.
And, in the midst of all this, a girl with a smile so brilliant that it literally seemed to light up her face.
There was some back-and-forth emailing, much flirtaciousness. She was clever with her words and phrases, the banter between us was light and airy...and, most of all, FUN. I soon learned that she was Filipino/Japanese....
And, she was from Hawaii.
The start of this relationship--at least--was the most intoxicating I had ever experienced. It was the circumstances: different culture, which was new to me; the timing--it was like a breath of clean sweet air, so different than the stagnation I had felt just a few months before in my previous relationship; and she was SO physically appealing to me. It all seemed, at first, to be just so right.
And suddenly, it all appeared to make sense. Certainly, THIS was the reason the Great Relationship had to end...? This was to be the Something Better, foreshadowed 30 years before during the Walk On The Beach at Ocean City? (See Entry 0002.)
I was smitten, and I allowed myself to fall--hard. Much of the emotion that I still had from the Great Relationship was still bottled up inside. I allowed it to flow freely out and into most of the empty lonely rooms within that had been that way for so long.
Years later, when this once-magical relationship that had apparently been doomed from the start eventually fell apart, as it had to, I was devastated. How could this have happened? Wasn't this THE ONE? Didn't all signs point to it?
It was twice as hard as just suffering through a breakup. I had attached all the "junk" to it that did not belong there. Like a bad detective, I had pulled together clues that had meaning only to me to make a case, and had made the facts fit it, instead of the other way around. The Hukilau Song. The feeling that it was all leading up to This Moment. And, worst of all, my boyhood attachment to "Hawaii Five-O" in the 60s, and its reruns in the 90s.
It all HAD to mean something, I thought. It was bad enough to have the relatonship over, althought it was clear that it had run its course. The worst part was what I had built it up to be.
It took a long time to get over all of that. It's difficult to accept a reality different than the one you have custom-made. But, the years went by and as it happened, the Great Relationship returned--at least, its participants did. We were older and the world had colored and changed us, but we still loved each other, which is what really matters.
CBS All-Access offers many television shows, including some classics, like Star Trek in all its forms, and Twilight Zone in its, as well. And the original Hawaii Five-O. We often would watch those old shows, many of which I still could recall.
So much more of the show made sense, now that I had been exposed to and lived it for 5 years--the culture, the food, the language. I don't recall the word "haolie" from before, but I certainly knew what it meant now. Other words, like "pao" and "da kine" made sense now too. I watched with a sort of longing, as even though the relationship had grown to be be frequently unpleasant, the time spent with the family had been okay for the most part.
We watched episodes off and on for several months, then one night it occurred to me. It was like a flash of great insight, almost like an epiphany. Once I had it, it was quite clear, and somehow now it all made sense.
I had it all backwards. The relationship was not caused, prophesied, by "Hawaii Five-O" and all that other stuff at all.
It came to me that, thanks TO the relationship, I now had a better understanding of one of my favorite experiences growing up—enjoying the characters and dialogue and plot lines of that show. And, The Hukilau. And all the other connections.
Perhaps THAT was one of the purposes of the relationship after all, trivial as it sounds. But—had it not been for that relationship, the meaning of it all--my appreciation--my understanding--would be much much less.
So that is how I have come to see it. Like a sore tooth, my consciousness no longer prods and pokes at those memories, bitter reminders of what was—with no understanding of how it all should have been, by my reckoning. A sense of peace has settled in. The square peg fits into the square hole. I believe this is the way it was and is supposed to be.