As I got off the phone with yet another man who I had developed a crush on just as he was preparing to start someone else, I texted the following words to Miranda: “Timing is everything.”
IS timing really everything? I thought about what I had said. How many relationships have we all been missing out on, simply because the timing was awry? How much time were we all wasting being lonely, when we could actually be beating other people to their next relationship punch? I thought of this all as I typed from the center of my bed, because I find that doing the work that pays my bills in a place where I could fall asleep at any moment helps me produce my best columns. Especially with a cigarette in my hand. You know, nothing like the risk of a cigarette-bed fire to get those writing juices flowing.
Anyway. I had the opportunity to ask Samantha my timing question as we shopped for groceries that afternoon. “Oh honey. Timing is everything. I personally prefer meeting men in the window of time before they start dating somebody else. You get the sex, she gets all the hang ups.” When I pointed out in the cereal aisle that the only sex I was getting out of the deal was sexual tension, she replied that that was entirely my fault. I grabbed my Kashi Go Lean and walked towards the Greek yogurt. Samantha was no help.
Miranda was more pragmatic, as we warmed up at spin class. “God Carrie. That used to happen to me all the time in college. After awhile, I just gave up. If a guy doesn’t make a move or have the balls to tell you that he’s going to start seeing someone as soon as you start to become interested, then you shouldn’t waste any more mental energy on him.” At that point, our instructor told us to peddle faster, so I didn’t have time to tell her that he actually had told me before I got the chance to humiliate myself.
As I peddled up an imaginary mountain, I reflected back to my own relationship history. I met the guy who was perhaps the second or third great love of my college career a week before graduation. I thought about my friend who was always single and interested right at the time when I was head-over-heels with someone else, and vice versa. Plus there’s the whole thing where guys that I date often end up in really serious, fulfilling relationships after we break up, while I only end up with a hangover and regrets? Good Lord. My timing was terrible! Why did this keep happening to me over and over again? Was I forever doomed to trying to jump on trains that had already left the station? And would anyone ever be able to repair my timing belt?
Surprisingly, Charlotte provided the advice that I wanted to hear the most right now. “Your timing might be bad right now, but if you’re truly meant to be together, you’ll be single at the same time in the future, and it will all work out.” As unlikely as Charlotte’s scenario felt, given my previous track record, it was preferable to think that fate was in control, than to think that there was something horribly wrong with me. And as Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha and I grabbed our bagel and lox sandwiches and sat down to eat, I realized that it doesn’t matter if my romantic timing is shitty right now. With friends like these, my timing was always perfect.