One of the favorite men I’ve had the pleasure to know did this screen print for me when we were at university together. He wrote “that is not it at all” on the bottom, whether as a message to me or a title. I was too ashamed to ask what he meant – back then, and probably now, he was a much deeper thinker than I was. I didn’t get it, but back then I was too busy pretending to be sophisticated to be myself.
He, on the other hand, had to dig into himself. As an art student, he was encouraged to – I, in nursing, was learning to dissemble.
I got pretty good at that. It’s taken til now-ish to stop worrying about what others feel about me.
Well, at least until I go on the dating sites, where everyone seems to want a skinny mountain climber who knows and loves tantric sex and likes to watch NASCAR. (Happy shopping, fellahs)
Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say is that the lack of communication and understanding in relationships erodes them. Eventually you end up facing each other, knowing its not working, and asking each other why, only to end up with the non-answer of “that is not it at all.”
We’re so good at pretense, happy families, thinking we have shared our dreams with our partners, while underneath the sand is shifting, moving us further from each other.
I regret not being secure enough to take this man for the treasure he was. He’s happily married and I love his wife, but he’s one of two men in my past that I sometimes think “what if?”
When he gave me this print, way back in 1980, he told me it would fade over time. It hasn’t.
Maybe the message is still meant to be bright and meaningful, as a reminder about what you can lose if pretense covers what you feel.
It is from Prufrock. Look it up…

2 thoughts on “That is not it, at all

  1. Roxana Nunez

    Maybe we change as we age, maybe that is why you are begining to not worry as much for what others think. I read somewhere that in our 20s we worry about what others think, in our 40s we don’t care what they think and in our 60s we finally realize they were too busy with their own lives to think about us in the first place.
    I have to be honest with you, the further I get in my 40s, the more I notice I have no time to worry about what others think. I do what I want, I don’t keep up with the Joneses and now more than ever, I am too curious to not question things. Maybe is my nature to be naturally curious and now, I’m not afraid to ask. I do remember a time, long ago, when just like you, I would have never asked the question.
    I do have a couple of friends that I still wonder, what if. Only to come back to the life I have, the man I have spent more than half my life with, and I know, I made the right choice.
    Somehow, in our lives, things always work out for the best. Just because he is a good husband to someone else, does not mean he would have been good with you. Have you ever wondered about that?


    1. dorothyanneb Post author

      Oh yes. The what ifs are merely mental playing. I married the father of my children and he was a good choice at that time. It didn’t last through all the challenges of family-raising, though, unfortunately.


Comments are closed.