The best kind of emotional baggage is the kind that sneaks up on you when you least expect it – like when you have your arms full of odor blocking garbage bags, generic marinara sauce, and pumpkin flavored coffee creamer.
The best kind of emotional baggage stops in your tracks as you break out in a cold sweat.
The best kind of emotional baggage throws you into a fit of unexpected hysterical laughter so strong, you nearly rear-end the pretentious BMW in front of you.
The best kind of emotional baggage has been festering somewhere deep inside of you for a long time.
Several years ago, when I was oh so very much in love with a boy named Kyle, I planned a perfect weekend for us in Malibu.
This Epic Weekend of Southern California Perfection was an apology of sorts – I was apologizing for being a little too much of myself, something I never expect to apologize for in a relationship again. Ever. Period. Seriously.
At the time, I felt like I owed Kyle big for putting up with me. I had thrown him curve-ball after curve-ball of impromptu trysts. I’d call him and tell him to meet me at the corner of Sudden Street and Surprise Avenue in five minutes. I wouldn’t give him details about where we were going or what we were doing or how we would make it back. Not on purpose, I just didn’t think about it. These details were never important to me, but they were very important to Kyle.
One night, he had a meltdown. I had pushed him to the edge with my carefree lifestyle. He told me I needed to PLAN things. He said I was being too crazy for him. He told me he couldn’t keep up with all of this flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants love I was dishing out.
I felt like a bit of a shit. I decided to apologize for always dragging Kyle off cliffs of uncertainty. I could see how very scary it must have been for him to not know if we were going to a bonfire on the beach or out for Dim Sum. My apology had to be epic.
I would painstakingly plan the perfect weekend for us.
I picked the location: Malibu, California. I’d never been to Malibu, but Barbie made it seem like a great place, and it sounded almost as cool as going to Maui, so I launched into planning our trip.
I put together a proper folder with a proper routing slip. In the folder, I’d printed out the weekend forecast with an hourly itinerary from Friday to Sunday. I booked us two nights at a charming tucked away bed and breakfast. I made dinner reservations. I bought movie tickets to correspond with the forecasted “rainy” afternoon. I researched restaurants and printed out the menus. I looked up the top reviewed local sites and nightlife and printed out maps and directions from our bed and breakfast to each location.
I’d planed everything from “impromptu lovemaking times” to “showering, teeth-brushing, coffee drinking, wine tasting and beach walking times” and organized it with color-coded tabs in a crisp blue folder. I knew I was doing a great job seducing his inner boyscout.
Kyle loved it.
He read through the whole folder as I drove us to the Bed and Breakfast. He knew I hated planning things and I had done this special for him.
The weekend was perfect, just as I planned.
The first night we had dinner reservations at a little Italian place. It was dimly lit and we were tucked away into a corner booth so we could sit right next to each other. We were still in that phase of our relationship in which sitting across a table from one another just felt too far.
The waiter came over to take our drink order. We decided to spring for a bottle of wine – a Rosé since Kyle really didn’t like wine very much and I am a firm believer that anything pink is easy to drink. Since we were in California, we attempted to engage in intelligent conversation about the wine list. We had no idea what we were talking about. The waiter sold us on the Francis Coppola’s Sophia Rosé, telling us it was bottled specifically for Coppola’s niece on her wedding day. He told us the bottles came straight from Italy and were the remnants of wedding reception leftovers.
We ate it up. And then we drank it up, the entire over-priced bottle. How perfect for two people so in love to be drinking wedding wine and dining by candlelight? I almost swoon at the very memory.
After that sticky sweet weekend of perfectly planned out bliss, I was able to find the Sophia Rosé in two different liquor stores. Both times, it felt like I had won the lottery. It felt like I had found our wine. Even though we were far apart, I saved it to drink together. There was something magic about that wine.
Today, walking around Target, I caught sight of something that stopped me in my tracks:
It was “our wine,” in all of its glory, on sale for $14.99.
I stared at the bottle. If you look closely, you can almost see the incredulous look on my face reflecting in the glass.
I started to sweat. My heartbeat raced. Memories from that weekend washed over me in waves. I made my way quickly to the checkout counter. I don’t even remember talking to the cashier. My mind was back on the West Coast.
By the time I got to the parking lot, I was deep in the memories of what came about a year after that perfect weekend: broken promises, a broken engagement, my stupid smashed up grossly broken heart.
I got in the car.
I couldn’t believe how strong these emotions were. It’s been YEARS! Besides, I hardly even think about Kyle, unless I am warning someone against the ironic dangers of a man who tattoos your name on his chest.
Suddenly, a thought crossed my mind: That wine was only $14.99!
And it was on sale at a Target – not even a real liquor store!
I started laughing hysterically (ref. almost smashing into the pretentious BMW). There was nothing really special about Sophia Rosé, just the memories tied to it. I chuckled, “What a perfect metaphor for that relationship.” And that $14.99 bottle of wine no longer held any power over me.
That waiter sure knew what he was doing, selling special Italian wedding wine to a “Coppola Schmucks in Love.”
Bah, I’m never falling for that again!