I always was one of those people that thought hand holding was sort of sweet at times. To see a couple holding hands. Young or old. It's one of the simplest displays of affection and in my opinion, it's one we truly take for granted.
I always knew a relationship was done for when I couldn't get the person I was with to hold my hand. Frank was never one for that with me to begin with. I once made a comment about my fingers being longer than his and ever since then, he wouldn't hold my hand for anything. I hated that I said that, but most of the time, he only touched me when he wanted something. Anyway, I have been with people who I couldn't stand to hold their hand. Scaly hands, wet fish hands. Ugh.
I never realized how much I liked that smallest sign of affection until Tim and I were watching IronMan 2 a couple of weekends ago with Chris and Becca. We were sitting there in the dark and I felt his hand wrap around mine at first. Then, our fingers interlaced. Them, I forgot to pay attention to the movie.
For almost 30 minutes, I sat there, completely bemused and concentrated on our hands. The way he would open his fingers and run his fingers along the sides of mine. The way he'd let just the tips of his fingers dance across my palm and the back of my hand. The act was so innocent and so sexual at the same time. I truly couldn't remember the last time I held hands with someone and felt them there. Sometimes, you hold someone's hand and it's like holding anyone else's hand. This was different. I knew it was Tim holding my hand.
I almost burst into tears at this. There was something so amazing and tender about him just touching my hand and holding it. I was so caught up in that moment that until something on the screen exploded and startled me I forgot I was supposed to be watching a movie.
I started thinking, "Why is this so fascinating to me? We're just holding hands. This is so ordinary." I was standing in the shower the next morning and I was struck with the thought, "It was anything but ordinary." I got out of the shower and watched Tim doze as I towel dried and brushed my hair. I sat down on the bed and he stirred. He looked up at me and touched the side of my face with his slightly rough hand. He took my hand in his and kissed my knuckles. Every time he does that, my heart is a little more healed than it was the time before.
Looking back on past relationships, one in particular as always, I don't remember those actions, that tenderness. I don't remember being shown affection for affection sake. I remember being smothered, held down, forced and ignored. Tim does none of that.
I keep telling myself to live in the moment and to not have any expectations. I really don't. I mean, hell, I haven't even really changed my all important relationship status on Facebook. As if that were the all important barometer of how true and real the relationship really is. We spend Friday and/or Saturday night together. Sometimes we see each other during the week.
We keep it simple. We tell each other, "I like you." We make each other happy by doing something most people don't remember to do in a relationship: we are OURSELVES. I have found more joy within myself by being who I am when I am with him than I ever found by trying to be the thing that my exes tried forcing into molds. I like Tim very much, and that isn't going to change anytime soon. I like who I am, and that isn't going to change either.
I never thought I'd get to say that.
I like who I am.
Is this what true happiness is?