I Offered Him This, He Wanted Me To Be That

I Offered Him This, He Wanted Me To Be That

Hello, he said. Who are you?

Hello, I said. I am This.

Hello! he responded. This is very interesting. I like This.

I think, he added after a long pause, you might also be That.

Oh, I answered, if you think so. I don’t know how to tell if I am That. I know I am This.

This is great, he said.

Hey, I said, Did I show you This and This?

Um, what? he asked. Are you offering me That?

This and This, I repeated. Do you want to see?

Sure, he said.

I missed you, I said.

I brought you This and This and This, I said, stretching out my hand.

Thanks, he said looking around.

Why are you looking around for? I asked.

Nothing, he said, looking around again.

Really? I queried.

Well…, he hesitated. See her over there? She is That.

Oh.

I’ve been trying, I said. Am I That yet?

Ah… Um… not quite, he responded.

Oh.

Look! I said.

I’ve also been working on This and This and This. And I brought you This. And I can do This and This.

But what about That? he asked.

Let’s forget about That for a while, he said.

Maybe we should just watch TV, he said.

Um, OK, I responded.

After we watch TV, can I share This and This with you? I asked.

Sure.

I don’t know how to be That, I sobbed.

You’re just not trying hard enough, he assured me. Can you try a little harder?

OK, I whimpered.

I also brought This and This and This and This, I whispered.

That’s nice.

So yesterday I was talking to my friend about This and This.

Who’s your friend? Does he know you’re married? Does he think you’re That?

That guy from my class I told you about. Yes, he knows we’re married. I showed him This and he thought…

Does he think you’re That? he demanded.

Why? I asked, confused.

Just answer the question! he shouted.

It’s good that you chose to stay home, he said.

Maybe we should just watch TV, he said.

Um, OK, I responded.

After we watch TV can I share This and This with you? I asked.

Sure, whatever.

I know you’re busy, he said, but when are you going to make That a priority?

This and This and This matter more right now, I countered. And it would really help if you could work on This and This and This too. Or at least get out of my way so I can get This done.

But what about That? he whimpered.

If That is so damn important to you, I hissed, Why don’t you go work on That?

We’re growing apart, he stated.

Well I can offer This and This and This, I said.

Don’t you want to also offer That, he asked.

Can you take care of This, I asked.

What about That? he asked. I think you should focus on That.

Actually, I answered, This and This and This are more important right now. We have bills to pay and children to feed and I need to finish my degree and I’m the only one with a job.

But, when are you going to work on That, he demanded.

I’m done, I said.

You can’t be done, he insisted.

We built a life together, he yelled.

Well, I said in my calmest voice, I built This and This and This and developed This and coordinated This and offered This and This and I’ve done This and This and This. And I was dreaming about doing This and This and This and This and This. And all I’ve ever wanted was to share all of This with you.

You, I continued, mostly pestered me about That.

I’m done, I said.

Is there someone else? Is it your colleague? he demanded. Does he have feelings for you?

No, it’s not because of my colleague, I clarified.

I’m sure he has feelings for you, he insisted, he can’t be indifferent to a woman who’s all That.

What did you just say? I asked.

I said that he can’t be indifferent to a woman who’s all That, he repeated.

You think I’m That? I asked incredulously.

Of course, he said.

I’m drained, I said.

I’m exhausted, I said.

I’m done, I said.

You can’t be done, he insisted.

Maybe I can learn about This? he offered.

Maybe I can help out with This? he smiled.

Ok, maybe we can try again, I conceded.

Can we talk about This and This or This? I asked.

Sure! he said.

Does your colleague think you’re That? he demanded.

I thought we were going to talk about about This or This, I said.

Yeah, but does he think you’re That? he repeated.

Why does that matter? I asked, We have to deal with This and This and This.

OK, he sighed.

Does your colleague think you’re That? he demanded.

Why does it matter what he thinks? I asked. I told you I’d try again. I’m here with you, right now. You are the one who has all of my attention.

Just tell me, he pleaded.

Yes, he does, I said. He told me so. He thinks I am This and This and This and I am That. So what?

I knew it! he yelped.

I only care about what you think, I assured him.

Can we work on This and This and This? I asked.

Um, he stuttered, but your colleague…

I think you’re That.

I think you’re That.

I think you’re That.

He chanted over and over.

Gimme a break, I said.

Can we talk about This or This or This? I asked.

Can we do This or This or This? I asked.

Can we develop This or This or This? I asked.

Can we feel This or This or This? I asked.

There are so many possibilities, I offered.

Hmmm, about That… he said.

I’m done, I muttered.

You know what? he yelled. You never even really tried to be That.

I told you I was This, I retorted. I offered you This and This and This and This. I asked if you wanted to do This or This. I grew into This and This and This and This and This. From the beginning I told you I didn’t know how to be That. I tried and tried but I don’t know how to be your version of That.

Does you see any of This? I hollered.

If ever you want to talk about This, I ventured from the safety of my own apartment, my door and my heart will always be open to you.

Pfftt, he sneered.

You seem to think you’re all That.

This story was originally published on PS I Love You. Relationships Now.

About the author
Montréal-based facilitator and conversationalist. Read more articles from Elizabeth on Thought Catalog.

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