In some ways, no one really talks about how abnormal long-distance relationships are. I mean, they talk about how, but I don’t see many people saying, “This sucks and it’s kind of weird.” Maybe that’s why I feel like Paul and I are the odd couple out among my friends–most of the time we’ve been together, we haven’t actually been together. To me, that should make the fact that I talk about him a lot understandable. We’ll come back to all this in a later post, but I don’t think any of them realize what a struggle it is in so many ways or how much he and I each value what time we do get to spend together and how quickly it’s gone.
When he stayed at my house for part of a weekend over spring break, I thought, “Awesome! We’ll have all day Saturday to spend together.” Do you know how fast “all day Saturday” went by? Do you know how even the busiest day packed full of activities and time together can feel like nothing at all?
At some point within the past few months, I’ve gotten really hooked on the idea of going on real dates. I think it started around Thanksgiving or Christmas. We’ve always spent just about as much time together as is possible and reasonable, but it was usually just kind of lounging around at each other’s houses most of the time. Probably partly because when we first started dating, I was still in school and only getting paid per article for a newspaper, so I didn’t have lots of cash to spend on nights out. Even when he worked full-time over the summer, he was saving money for rent and food for the school year. Plus I’m the one with expensive taste. Or we’d go out with my friends or his, which was mostly fine, but I started to insist on one-on-one time out. I’m still doing it.
So when he came to Pittsburgh, I was finding things to do and places to go and restaurants t try. What’s the difference if we spend time together out or in, aside from feeling totally lazy but saving money?
I think it’s principle. I think because long-distance relationships are so unique an complicated, I want all the things other couples in close proximity do. And they go out on dates. That and I love food and share my love of food by saying, “Oh, my God, I have to take you here.”
So that’s how we ended up at Primanti’s, where he had his first Primanti’s sandwich. I’m a vegetarian, I was full, and I was leery of coleslaw so I just had cheese fries, but I did try the coleslaw so I think next time, it’s a sandwich for me. The only problem with that then is I have a little mouth and little hands, so we’ll see how that goes.
Then we took in all the lovely sights and sounds of the Strip. I dragged him into almost every single little store and bought myself a lovely little silk dress. Then we hit the South Side, where we both tried The Milkshake Factory for the first time. Then we came home and the day was gone and I had to take him home so he could get ready to go back to school and we could play this waiting game all over again.