Saturday, March 31, 2007

He Who Hesitates is Lost: the Paula Story Part 2

As my relationship with Paula got under way, I was still missing the Great Michelle. I would compare them in my head and although Paula was very attractive, I kept getting stuck on the fact that Michelle was better looking. Because of that, I took my relationship with Paula a bit slow and easy. Eventually, I realized that Paula's personality made up for any looks advantage Michelle had. I have suspected that if I had proposed to Paula during the first two years, she would have agreed to marry me. Unfortunately, when I eventually did come around to definitely wanting to marry her, the moment was gone and she was unwilling.
We ended up living together in a rented condo, in Long Beach, New York, for a while. Paula always found me very funny and laughed at my jokes and witty comments. However, everything wasn't perfect. I was much more into cuddling than she was. She used to laughingly refer to me as "Mr. Velcro," because of how much I liked to touch and hug. Also, she was a bit of a workaholic and stayed late at her office on many evenings, while I waited home alone. Things got tense between us, at one point, and I moved back home. We continued dating and I helped her apply for a new job, at Princeton University. Although she stated out pessimistic, she got the job and became the Director of Graduate Admissions at the prestigious school. The bad news was that it meant she would be moving to New Jersey, an hour and a half from me.
After her move, I used to spend four days a week at her new apartment and three days at home. I spent my two days off there, but I ended up commuting two and a half hours to work, each way, two days per week. Eventually, I suggested that I move in with her again and she agreed. I changed jobs to a local employer near to Princeton. It was a change I came to regret. I had been working selling cars, originally intending to save up money for my bar exam review course. When I changed to a dealership near Princeton, I ended up in a very unpleasant working environment. I didn't have the support I had at my first dealership and as I was on commission, my earnings suffered. Finally, after a dispute between myself and one of the finance managers, I was fired. During the months I was working at this dealership, Paula was experiencing financial difficulties. With my earnings down, I wasn't able to provide her as much financial assistance as she would have liked. When I told her I had been fired, she broke up with me on the same day. It was just after Christmas, in 1996, and I asked her if I could wait till after New Year to move out. She agreed.
I found Paula so compatible with me that I felt like she was my best friend, as well as my girlfriend. Because of this, she is the only Princess class ex-girlfriend that I truly tried to remain friends with. I succeeded for a year and a half. Towards the end of our romantic relationship, when I used to suggest that we get married, she would say that as I was the only boyfriend that she'd ever had, how did she know if our relationship was as good as it gets? That was a question I couldn't come up with a good answer to. She may have been able to find men better looking, or with more money, but she would never be able to find someone who loves her more than I do.

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