Category: St. Louis Arch


August 5th, 2010 — 5:10pm

In long distance relationships, I’ve learned never to say never when it comes to whose turn it is to travel. I was reminded of this a few months into my romance with Southern Illinois native Steve.

Steve and I were missing each other desperately. Having already gotten on a plane for him once, I wanted him to reciprocate — until he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of 2002…

LaGuardia Airport, NY
March 2, 2002

Dear Diary,

Well, surprise, surprise, I’m on my way to Illinois to see Steve.

Though it came about quickly, I’m happy to say I’m not simply acting on impulse. Steve is taking care of my airfare and also planning (at last!) a visit to New York later this month. Needless to say, I was floored when Steve called yesterday and suggested I visit. He says he’s suddenly in a better financial situation because of two tuition refund checks.

“We’ve been apart for almost two months, and I just can’t take it anymore,” he said with great urgency.

St. Louis: Steve and I spent part of our reunion here

I’ve been so wrong to compare what Steve and I have to what I had with Sparky. Other than both relationships being long distance, there are NO similarities. Steve and I call and email regularly, and we’re both trying to see each other whenever we can. And I have a love and respect for Steve that is unlike what I felt for Sparky.

It’s also be foolish for me to be scared of somehow reverting to who I was eight years ago, with Sparky, simply by following my heart. I’m no longer the naive college student who expects every romantic encounter to be so blissful it makes up for the time apart. As long I feel that electricity with Steve and like we’re communicating, I’ll be a happy camper.

* * *

USAir Flight to NYC
March 6, 2002

It’s been an incredibly intense, exhilarating, exhausting couple of days. My feelings for Steve are just as strong as they were two months ago.

For as much as money was an issue during our last rendez-vous, it wasn’t this time. I took care of the accommodations, while Steve treated me to some wonderful meals and he even wanted to take me on a carriage ride in St. Louis (too bad the horses weren’t around!).

This morning, he proposed all these wild ideas — from eloping to driving across the country. A big part of me was tempted to just throw caution to the wind and see where our love takes us. Being unemployed makes such propositions pretty enticing.

For now, it’s back to the job search grind.

*  *  *

The search for my next career move would take me to the other side of the world — and force me to make a decision about Steve.

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May 16th, 2009 — 8:11pm

When you break up with someone, you inevitably find yourself wondering — is it really over? It didn’t take long for that question to come up after ending my relationship with California-based beau Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).

Single in St. Louis: A girlfriends getaway here was my first stop after calling it quits with Sparky, June 1995
Just one week after we said goodbye, Sparky called. And he continued calling on a regular basis, making it clear the door was open for us to see each other again. While slowly getting my bearings as a newly-single college grad, I also contemplated what the future would bring for our complicated love.

I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1995…

June 20th, 1995
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Guess who just called? Sparky! He just returned from Hawaii and said he was calling to say “I love you.”

I apologized for being difficult when we were together.

“You, difficult?” he quipped and we both laughed.

I mentioned having a had a weird dream about being pregnant.

“I hope I was involved in that,” he said.

Before saying goodbye, Sparky promised to call before the week’s end.

Wow. I guess men really do want what they can’t have. Could it be that, now that we’ve ‘broken up,’ our relationship will be stronger?

I’m still intending to move full speed ahead with my life. But I can’t help liking the idea that Spark Plugs will still, somehow, be a part of it.

* * *
June 25th, 1995

Sparky called again today. He said he dreamt that I had called him to say I’d found a prince and was getting married.

“You’re not so easily replaced,” I assured him.

When I teased him about moving on with Polynesian princesses in Hawaii, he said firmly–

“It doesn’t work that way.”

Mom insists that I’ll hear from Sparky “400,000 more times” and that I can bank on him coming to New York before the year is out.

“When a man is in love,” she said, “he doesn’t give up.”

* * *

July 20th, 1995

I’m hanging in there. I still have my blue moments and I’m in dire need of a steady job and stable social life, but I’m okay. Being in touch with Mark takes some of the edge off my loneliness. Hopefully, a fling will occur sometime soon.

* * *

Much more than a fling awaited me when I began a temp job as a receptionist. One of my co-workers would end up becoming the next big thing romantically — and showing me just how much better it is when your significant other is of the local variety.

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