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Sitting around the unlit fire pit with a couple of friends Friday night, I was a little surprised when ShirtlessRoland offhandedly, but matter-of-factly stated that I am afraid of commitment. This deserves the same kind of overanalyzing I bestow on Lady Gaga lyrics and what to have for dinner, don’t ya think?

Technically, I’d already started overanalyzing about a week before he uttered that statement. Lately I’ve been taken with Jeanette Winterson and have not been able to move past her quote, “As your lover describes you so you are.” Granted, this passage was tumbling around in my head in the context of how I’ve described my past lovers. And generally, after the last of the gooey newness of a coupling has washed down the drain, my initial description of them has turned out to be as wrong as that last metaphor. Until Friday night, I never once wondered how my lover might describe me. And then there it was. I am, in his eyes, afraid of commitment. Even though that didn’t sound accurate, I thought it best to obsess over it before broaching the topic with him later in private. Here’s what I decided:

I am distressed that I hold on to commitment long after I realize I was wrong. Or worse yet, not realizing I was wrong just so I could hold on to it. I am weary of chasing it. I cannot remember a time I didn’t place more value on being in a committed relationship than, well, anything else. I am embarrassed how many times I’ve been wrong about another’s commitment to me. I am broken hearted by the number of times I have confused sex with commitment. I am exhausted, beaten down and at times incapacitated by commitment, but I am not afraid of it. Clearly, this points to a learning disability but I stand firm that Jeanette Winterson is still wrong.

So late, late Friday night, once the back yard was cleared of friends and empty bottles, and as we were laying our heads down for sleep I said in my own attempt at nonchalantness, “I am not afraid of commitment.” I was counting on him wanting slumber more than conversation, so I thought I had this one in the bag.

He paused before the titter. “I meant when it comes to things like band, and dance, and karate.”

He may have had a point, but suddenly I wasn’t as committed to having this conversation.

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