Monday, November 08, 2010

The sunset of Butterbean13

This was taken on the last night Jen and I spent in Cancun three years ago. It's pretty representative of how we spent our time.

Pool and cocktails. Cocktails by the pool. Cocktails in the pool. Swimming. Reading. Occasionally planting our wide open mouths under the soft-serve ice cream machine. Followed by more cocktails. It was great.

We also maybe watched some porn, but that was just out of curiosity. And alarming.

Three years ago today - and really, for four more days as well - I hadn't yet met Nick, and Jen and I had this Cancun-all-inclusive-fabulousness vacation lined up for Thanksgiving.

It's the only really fun Thanksgiving I've ever had, actually. But that's not what this is about. This is about the end of my long sojourn in the Internet dating world of

A week prior to meeting Nick, I'd come home from either a date or drinks with friends - I can't remember which, and wound up chatting on the phone with a cute Canadian, with whom I'd been exchanging Match emails.

Which resulted in me inviting him to Cancun. He'd have to get his own room, of course. But Jen and I were planning on just hanging out. He could join us.

Because where else would we ever meet?

So he said he might be in trial that week, but if not, he'd book last minute and take a vacation. The trial happened; the vacation did not.

A week after this call I met Nick, and went out with him three times before Thanksgiving, and then immediately after and then he was my boyfriend and then it was basically forever and ever, sickness, health, so on, so forth.

Which brings us to now.

Canadian Lawyer and I are Facebook friends, and have been for a while. In the odd way of the world, we never met in person while I was on Match, and I got off rather quickly after meeting Nick. But now we're friends, in the removed, Internet sense.

He reads LG, and he knows a lot more about me than I know about him. But I like his mind, and I like his sensibilities.

So today he dropped an email saying, hey, Butterbean13, we spoke three years ago, and then I didn't go to Cancun, and wow look what three years can bring.

Soo, yah, Butterbean13 was my Match name. I don't have a better explanation than that I wanted a vegetable, and Broccoli sounded too weird, and 13 is my favorite number. My Match names merit their own post, in fact.

But this really drove home for me how life is about timing and coincidence. Sometimes I think life is entirely random, but then others I think things work out the way they're supposed to...which suggests some sort of fate.

In other words, I'm not sure what I think. But it gave me a jolt, because if he had committed to Cancun, I don't imagine I'd have gone out with Nick, or anyway, I wouldn't have gotten myself all swept up...and now where would I be?

I think Nick is perfect for me, but I believe more in The 26 than in The One. But at this point, it's impossible for me to imagine my life any different than it is.

But it could have turned out any number of ways.

Life is random? Fate plays a role? Depends on the day?

What's your outlook?


  1. Love this post.
    If my cocksucker of an ex-boyfriend didn't ditch me on my birthday, I wouldn't have ended up drunk at a seedy Irish bar with my best friend where we proceeded to make out with Shawn (me) and Shawn's brother (her) on the dance floor.
    I'm not comfortable waxing poetic about fate but I do love how life is completely random and wonderful at times.

  2. i'm all aboard the fate train. it makes me feel better believing that everything happens in a way that it's meant to to lead you where/who you're supposed to be. i'm an answers person and without this explanation there are no answers for too many things, so it's what i believe. all those nights a young me spent sobbing from broken hearts led me to the next phase of my life each time which eventually led me to my now husband which of course was worth every last tear. it just feels better thinking there was a reason.

  3. Fate for the big stuff, randomness for the not so important things. The important relationships we have, good or bad, are fated, I think. Somehow, they are meant to lead you through your intended life. Don't you feel like you were absolutely meant to meet Nick when you did? Or, if you had declined to meet him then, he would have reappeared at some other point in your life? But I really like your theory of 26 too. Hmm...

  4. I remember your going on that trip, and how jealous I was of such an awesome Thanksgiving plan.

    I don't know if I believe in fate, although it would certainly be nice to. What I do believe is being in the right place, both literally and figuratively, at the right time. It appears that both you and Nick were in that place, and the rest was just a natural progression, and a splendid one at that!

  5. "...and I got off rather quickly after meeting Nick." Really?

    Fate is an interesting incarnation. You never know just exactly whose eye you'll catch, or who'll catch yours.

  6. Considering the series of unlikely events that led to not only meeting my husband in the middle of the Caribbean but to the relationship that became our marriage, I was dragged struggling all the way into the acknowledgment that perhaps certain things are fated. But my belief in chaos theory generally prevails.

    Also, I was born on a 13th and my dad called me Little Bean, so I feel an odd affinity with your Match name. Is that weird?

  7. I'm not so sure about fate. I think things randomly work out. My husband and I had been at the same social gatherings a number of times, and I had never met him. In truth, had I met him earlier, I wouldn't have given him a chance. I was very stuck on chasing bad boy hockey players with nice abs, and... that's not my husband. So maybe that is fate.

    At any rate, my mom once said "you could be happy with a number of people... it's all about picking one and sticking with it" (paraphrasing). I tend to agree.

  8. Most days fate feels right, some days random. I wonder if this question gets answered at the end of our life as we know it here on earth? Now I want some butterbeans!

  9. Online dating names hell yeah. Mine was Alien-Butterflies....god knows why or where I got it but that it was.
    Now theres a really good song by the group Train and the opening lyrics I love, they go like this
    "Hey, did you hear about the one that got away. They said he looked left, she turned right, meant to be together but not that night.
    It's when fates running late we tend to make mistakes."
    And the second verse goes into how when he was single she wasnt etc. Anyway good song utube it or something, very catchy song its called "I got you".
    I wonder about fate sometimes though. I always say my ex and I were meant to spend time together because I was supposed to have Ben, Ben was meant to be here. But that could just be me justifying why I stayed in a shitty relationship long enough and dumb enough to marry the guy. I like to think fate does something sometimes to make things happen. Maybe its a random interference, dabble with us type of thing. Like stirring occasionally but not all the time when you are cooking something. Maybe fate just sticks a hand in now and then to see what happens.

  10. Hillary - Things like that make me think fate is at work. But so many other things make me think it's all random and timing and luck and the position of the moon.

    jen - Well, I do think all those horrible experiences make you into the person you are, and make you really appreciate the person you wind up with. So it sucks having gone through all the terrible ones, but then you recognize when you have a good thing, and you try not to fuck it up.

    Susan H - Actually, I don't. I mean, I can't imagine myself with anyone else...but I could very well picture a scenario in which we'd never met. And thinking about it as accident and luck just scares me.

    I don't think he's the only one I could've been happy with, but man am I thankful we went on that date.

    freckledk - I wish we could do that every year. I hate Thanksgiving.

    FoggyDew - Uh, actually, I didn't. But I did take down my profile rather quickly. :)

    And it's true that you never know. You put yourself in the path and hope for the best.

    Keenie Beanie - It is true that too many things lined up for you two for it to seem like coincidence.

    And I don't think so, but listen, I'm the last person to judge weird.

    Kate Bee - Nick and I have talked about how we wouldn't have appreciated each other if we'd met years prior, and it's so true. I mostly agree with your mom, although some people can be happy with a wider variety of people than others.

    kayare - Maybe. It would be good to know at some point. And I've never actually had butterbeans!

    Go-Betty - I've heard that song but never paid attention to the lyrics! I like that! I think you must've been meant to be with your ex, at least long enough to have Ben. Because can you imagine your life without him? I also really like the imagery of fate stirring the pot once in a while. I don't know.

  11. Fate definitely plays a role.

    If I hadn't met my first BF online back in college, I never would've moved to the Midwest to be with him.

    In turn, I never would have met D.

    If I hadn't met D, I would've (or at least, probably never would've) never visited NC.

    But I did, last summer. And in doing so, I met my (now) amazing, wonderful, fantastic, so perfect (for me) and I can't imagine my life without him in it husband!

  12. This is a tough one. Fate feels kind of depressing to me really. like it's all planned out and that's that. nope. not for me. However, I think maybe there's an uber destination in mind. like your mission or something, i.e. raising 2 successful children or helping to build a school in an urban neighborhood and impacting the future of many kids, saving 100s of dogs through volunteering. whatever. but how you get there and when and who you do it with. well, that's just your life story. not that you asked, but i think it's in keeping with the theme...I'm also not a regrets person. if you think of life and who you are as an evolution, well then each experience is there for a reason.

    I also remember your awesome trip. can't believe I've been reading you for that long! - Carrie

  13. I often wonder if I had met my ex-boyfriend later in life if we would have ended up together. It's too late now but I think "if we had both been a little more mature" Life happens and while we do have some control I think most of it is fate or something.

  14. I am big into the Karma thing. We (that is to say, our Souls) all have these universal lessons that the Soul is trying to teach us so that we might attain some higher understanding. Of what, I don't know. I'm not quite there yet. And Karma is the way of the Soul trying to teach us these lessons. If we are able to discern the lesson, then we learn. If we are not, then we go through a similar cycle in the next lifetime. It's very Buddhist I think in some aspects, but I wasn't raised a Buddhist, I was raised Wiccan and that the Great Sun Wheel or Wheel of Life has the same sort of explanation.

    Your Soul is intertwined with other Souls. You'll meet them in many forms. Friends, lovers, children, parents, spouses ... sometimes as the same thing over and over and sometimes as one or the other. My mom says it is why we feel loss so greatly when someone close to us dies in this life. Their soul isn't there intertwined with yours, but steadily moving onto their next lifetime. You may or may not meet them again until your next lifetime.

    In short I guess what I mean to say is, yeah, I believe. I believe every time I look my own child who is just discovering this big crazy world.

  15. MathMan and I were supposed to meet at least three times before we did. Each time something got in the way. Had we met one of those earlier times, what would have happened? I wonder.

  16. Definitely believe in fate / everything happening for a reason.

    First, you should read The Celestine Prophecy if you haven't. It may make you a believer in fate. At the very least, it's really an interesting read.

    Second, the biggest events in my life have been such items of chance. I met my first very long term boyfriend (online) in 1997! Eek! When people didn't do that. I was at a doctor's office the next day and sitting in the waiting room wondering if the connection I felt could be real, when I saw a piece of wall paper that had come unstuck from the chair rail next to me. I reached out to tuck it back into the molding and realized something was written behind it.

    Someone had wrote his name. Odd? Yes. But even odder was the spelling of the name, which wasn't the classic spelling at all. I was sufficiently freaked.

    But I became a believer real fast. Ha.


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