This I Believe

Jena - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on February 14, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love, setbacks

I believe in the conflict between heart and mind the heart beats the fears of the mind with a source only it can muster: courage.

My heart can’t stand a head full of swirling questions – especially about the ‘L’ word. Here’s what my head was saying: He’s from Germany and we’ve had an international love affair. Over seven years we’ve shared maybe six weeks together. Yes, he makes me laugh wildly and warms my cold hands on his belly. But does this mean it’s true love?

Last spring we met in Paris. By the luminous-white marble glow of the Medici Fountain Lovers, my heart knew it loved him. But my nagging head began to question, “Does he love me too?” The vacation ended without an answer. We kept in touch across the distance through email and phone calls.

When his emails and calls became scarce, a pounding Head sent an urgent query to a throbbing Heart: where’s the love, man? My usual reaction to preliminary heartache symptoms is to instruct Head to close Heart completely. Shut off the valve of pain – forget that man in Paris or Germany – wherever he’s from.

Head and Heart struggled. Heart prevailed with a simple message: tell him.

Attempting subtlety, I bought a second-hand Got Milk t-shirt at the thrift store. I tailored it to fit, and patched over the letters ‘l’ and ‘k’ so it read “Got Mi!” – exclamation point – no question. I took a few self-portraits wearing only the t-shirt and – need I say – a devil of a smile. The digital me was sent to Mr. Loverman’s inbox with a single statement: “You are it!”

A few hours later a blushing emoticon came with a note. “Thanks for the pictures!” – exclamation point. I’m not sure what kind of response I was expecting, but Heart and Head were hoping for something more telling.

So I did what any woman does when she wants to know what’s going on in the heart of her lover: I called my best girlfriend. “Do you think he got it?” I ask. She thinks he may have missed the point and suggests another approach.

So, I write a letter. I explain the photos. Basically I say, “You got me. I know what I want and you are it. The question I have now is, ‘Want Me?’” For extra measure and freak-out factor, I add that I want to get married and have his baby someday. This time I send the letter to Germany the old fashioned way, by snail mail.

Ten days later, repeat 10 days later, he calls. He’s holding my brave little Heart in his hands and says he doesn’t want to explore a deeper relationship with me. Why? He says he’s scared.

My heart has been returned with a “thanks, but no thanks” tag attached. With Head egging it on, at least Heart had the guts to open its mouth. And even though it hurts, Heart’s still beating – and now, no headache.