Monday, March 24, 2014

30-Week Blog Challenge Week 29: A Person You Love

I'm back with the Monday blog challenge! The lady in charge is Marie at Mom Gets Real. The questions are right here:


And Week 29's prompt is . . .


Ah jeez. Why don't we go with this guy?

This super special fellow is Jeaux, and I haven't written about him on my blog at all yet, so he gets some love.

I met Jeaux on the Internet in 2000 shortly before I graduated from college. He was living in a nearby Florida city at the time--though still a bit of a drive from me--and after having randomly fallen upon my America Online profile because I liked the cartoon The Tick and turned out to also be a writer, he IMed me. Once we'd had several conversations, we decided meeting was necessary and he drove to my city to chill with me.

I knew I was going to get along great with Jeaux when we were walking home from the restaurant and he yelled, "I just wet myself. AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT."

Then we played a made-up dice game that we created rules for as we moved along. It was fun. We think alike.

Then the next week we decided to hang out again and ended up joking about how we might still be meeting on Wednesdays in ten years.

It's been fourteen years, incidentally. Still meeting on Wednesdays.

Jeaux's family is very confused about our relationship. I guess they have a right to be, because we often function as each other's "someone." When we have a plus-one situation we often invite each other. Weddings, funerals, office parties. He fixes my computers and my house appliances. I sew his pants and edit his documents. And for a long time, he had to drive for more than half an hour to see me, which made his parents believe we were dating. (For some reason, they can't imagine what a girl could possibly be "for" in Jeaux's life unless she is his date. Especially since he slept over most of the time. I mean, they just concluded what most people would. Except they wouldn't listen to us when we said it wasn't true. They even cornered him for an "intervention" once to demand the truth. He replied, "She doesn't even like guys." I guess they came to their own conclusions.)

Us at Thanksgiving
He has had a couple girlfriends while being friends with me. He once told me that if any girl he dated had a problem with me, he would dump her first.

We have jokingly gotten each other Valentines with horrible messages on them. For our "anniversary" of meeting each other we have sometimes gotten each other gifts. He buys me lunch and introduces me to great books and anime. I did a voice in his web series and composed the music for it. He thinks my books are cool. I ironed his shirt for him for his mother's funeral because he didn't know how to iron.

Jeaux is super easy-going and gets along well with all of my friends, too.

What a big nerd, hahaha.

Oh! So here's another funny coincidence. We had the same job for almost six years.

We met shortly before I graduated and got a job. My job after college was working at a bookstore in Gainesville, Florida. After I'd been the customer service person for a while they pushed me into being a department head for the kids' section. Very shortly after I got my job, Jeaux got a job at the same chain in his city, Ocala. And then they pushed HIM into the kids' position too. We spent a lot of time talking about our job after that, and we were like, "Didn't we used to talk about other things?"

Sometimes we play games.
Jeaux likes to write as well, though he's never finished a book so . . . he should get on that. He's really good at computers and we're both kind of obsessed with Alanis Morissette and both love musicals. He reads teen girl books about relationships and watches magical girl anime. (The longest thing he ever wrote was Sailor Moon fanfic.) We both used to go to an anime club actually. I would bake for the club.

We even dressed up like anime characters for a convention once. He made the weapons and I sewed the costumes. We didn't win anything in the contest, though. (Also kind of an ironic costume choice because we played characters who had crushes on each other and are embarrassed to confess, but we're basically living the opposite.)

Us as Takeo Takakura and Sae Sawanoguchi from Maho Tsukai TAI!

Jeaux is pretty uninterested in having a social life and we pretty much don't communicate (except to send each other silly links once in a while) except on Jeaux Day every week. We just talk about what's going on with us and talk about books or silly things that are happening or feminism and social issues or we watch a TV show or listen to Welcome to Night Vale or something. He's extremely easy-going and considerate. He's willing to help with anything and yet somehow knows how not to cross any boundaries. We don't hug or touch or anything (though I HAVE hugged him once in a while if he did something really nice or whatever). (He says he likes being huggy with girlfriends if he has them, but he's never like that with me.) And he told me many years after the fact that as soon as I told him I was asexual, I immediately went into a category of unavailability in his mind that I share with his sisters. I'm just not an available woman to him, and he doesn't treat me like one. I think he knows how much I appreciate that.

We've never spoken of any kind of commitment, but we don't need to. He's a lifelong friend and we both know it. Some people insist on suspecting us of a secret romance--or of being in denial of our feelings for each other--and they use as evidence our obvious closeness, our shared wavelength that enables us to say the same things at the same time, and the fact that he has twice moved to a different city that just happened to be my city. (Both times, he did so because of living situations and jobs making it more preferable to live where I was than where he was, but having a friend there was definitely a factor in his interest in moving.) But what kinda bothers me about people needling us to admit we're romantically involved is that we are friends and that is a very important, very serious thing. I don't appreciate the fact that I'm supposed to devalue our friendship and pretend it's less than it is in the name of throwing a "just" in front of that "friends." There's nothing "just" about Jeaux. He's an extremely important fixture in my life. My non-romantic relationships are my primary partnerships, though I don't consider him a substitute for a boyfriend. Relationships just are what they are. His importance in my life isn't lesser just because it isn't described by "romance."

We've never said "I love you" to each other, but I don't hesitate to call it love. My life would be less what it is without him. I don't depend on him for anything except for filling the Jeaux-shaped hole he'd leave if he left. He doesn't provide a function. I would never describe any of my feelings for him as passion or attraction. It's more . . . appreciation, and contentment, and shared joy in what we consider important.

That's love, and I'm not interested in the opinions of anyone who tries to tell me different.

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