Relationships (Things Fall Apart)

Comedy is not the reason my last relationship failed. Rather, it made clear why I had to end the relationship sooner than I would have had I been less committed to pursuing this dream. Comedy is an elixir of truth. It’s a blessing that I have this voice inside me calling me and my princess fantasies out on our delusions.

I remember a moment hanging out at his apartment when he decided to go to the deli for cigarettes and asked me if I wanted anything. I said “Yes. I want some almonds.” He came back a few minutes later with cigarettes- and roses. No almonds. I didn’t chastise him, how could I? it was clearly a romantic gesture, but for whom? I’m awkward around flowers. I don’t own a vase. Once a guy brought me a rose on our first date and I knocked over both of our wine glasses with it because I thought it would be rude to put it on the floor and my purse was too small to hold the damn thing. I’m a physically awkward person, and I just wanted some almonds.

There were many problems. Ultimately we wanted very different things. One reoccurring tension was how much I prioritized stage time over building our relationship. I couldn’t make the choices I needed to make to take full advantage of unexpected opportunities. I ran into a friend of mine who works as a headliner. When he invited me to tag along with him to his next gig, I had to decline because I promised I would be home soon.

I knew my boyfriend would suspect amorous intentions. I didn’t particularly care if this comic was flirting with me or not. I wanted to see another show, meet another club manager, meet other comics. I was very sure that I was capable of setting clear boundaries, and what this comic’s intentions were could easily be rendered irrelevant. When I started turning down invitations to hang out with other comics because of “how it would look” I knew it was time to rethink my relationship. I felt guilty for taking road gigs, late gigs, gigs on Saturday nights.

The question occurred to me; is it possible to be in a relationship with someone who has a “normal” job while pursuing comedy? Is it possible for me, at this moment in my life to really invest in a relationship at all? Can I be a “good” girlfriend, and also selfish about pursuing comedy? His fears, loneliness, and desires be damned? In the end, we were simply two people with very different values and expectations trying to force the other to “just stop.” I genuinely hope he finds a woman that meets his expectations, but I’m just never going to be that girl. It is impossible for me to be something I’m not.

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2 Responses to Relationships (Things Fall Apart)

  1. I think the same problems exist for any artist trying to establish themselves and follow their muse. That kind of dedication/existence doesn’t easily mesh well with the 9-5 workaday world mentality. That you’re mature enough to acknowledge that, right now, you both need different things from a significant other than what you can each give is a good thing. It will save you lots of time.

    My only advice: don’t date a fellow comedian.

  2. Kaytlin says:

    Tom,
    Yeah, it’s hard. And it should be hard. It’s funny how the list I made of my prince charming requirements when I was 10 is radically different than the life by trial and error list I’ve created now. I started with “must like to dance” and ended with “can’t make me hate myself.” Is this an improvement?

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