A Moment in My Life – Thursday, January 13, 2022
Jeannie Yee Davis
If you told me you have never had a fantasy lover, I’d say you’re lying. Well, okay, maybe that is your truth. I don’t know. That’s fine. Everybody is entitled to their secrets. Who am I to judge? I figured if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine kind of thing. Ha-ha. I know what you are thinking, and you are right. Whether you tell me or not, I’m going to tell you my story anyhoo. Shall we get to it then?
An old song, “Magnet and Steel” by Walter Egan, grabbed hold of me, flooding my brain with all these thoughts with one thing leading to another, and conversations started flying in my head. You’d think this one prominent conversation sparked this song: “Magnet and Steel,” heavy stuff. Who doesn’t want a love story with magnet and steel in it? Magnet and steel sound inseparable—always and forever like true love, which is everybody’s dream. True. Not everybody cares for true love, but this is my story, and true love rules in my world, so please bear with me.
This new couple I know, I’ll call them Ricky and Lucy, have been seeing each other for a couple of months, but they are no strangers to each other. They have a history and dated in college, but it was short-lived. Fast forward two decades and fate bumped them together with him moving into her suburban neighborhood. What are the chances of that? It sounds like the beginnings of a Hallmark romance to me—especially learning that Ricky had a little crush on Lucy, and she had mutual feelings for him. Oooh, and the plot thickens with magnet and steel.
I know I better taper down my expectations, which is wise because expectations can challenge a relationship. Lucy had me falling for the guy when Ricky said all the right things at the right time to her, virtually swooning me off my feet. I won’t go into details to keep their romance theirs, but trust me, it was romantic. I was thrilled that she found her Mr. Right, and she got to live in a Hallmark romance. Little did I expect what came next.
Spending more quality time together meant seeing who you are when nobody is looking, which can be a good or bad thing. In this case, the first petty annoyance surfaced, leading to their first fight, which exploded, revealing a gazillion minor annoyances. One obvious issue: Ricky’s preconceived expectations of who Lucy is. Here’s my take. Since college, Ricky carried a torch for Lucy and created a lifetime fantasy world starring Ricky and Lucy. That sounds so utterly romantic except for the fact that Ricky is expecting the real-life Lucy to fit into his fantasy character, which is as different a person as the real-life Lucy.
I am no stranger to having a fantasy lover, as I had one throughout my teen years. Eddie Young, oh, how I adored him, my first major school crush. “And where he goes, I’ll follow! I’ll follow! I’ll follow! I will follow him. Follow him wherever he may go,” so the song goes, and I lived it, well, not really, but I would’ve if I could’ve. He was a senior, and I was a freshman at Marina Junior High. Two years kept us apart like Romeo and Juliet. It was a classic YA story with my eyes falling for Eddie on the first bus ride to junior high. We lived on the same block. He, up the West side, and I lived down the East. Day-after-day, I watched at my window for his coming and going hoping to see him again. We were both shy, meaning when I caught sight of him, I hid. A lot of good that does for meeting up, doesn’t it? And that’s when I moved us into my fantasy world, where, since I knew nothing about him, I created everything I thought Eddie would be.
Eddie and I were at Marina for one year before he graduated and transitioned to Galileo High School. It felt like a lifetime before I would graduate and join him, but fate bused me to Mission High instead when it was my turn. I was madly in love with Eddie for five years despite the hopelessness of seeing him again. Then, one day after school on the N Judah streetcar, Eddie hopped on at Market and Van Ness. I gasped and stopped breathing when I saw that tall, gorgeous guy with thick wavy black hair from my dreams. I hadn’t seen him in two years, and I knew I had to summon the courage to approach him now or never. Since my girlfriends were riding with me, I asked Eddie to get off at the next stop, which he did, and we stood at the bus stop and talked.
This moment was the first time I heard his voice and learned a bit about the real Eddie, and wow, what a flabbergasting experience. Except for his appearance, the Eddie standing before me was a total stranger who did not fit my make-believe Eddie, the one I worshiped for five years in my fantasy world. Five years of believing certain truths made it difficult to accept any other reality. Eddie was my metal in my fantasy world, and I was steel. It was a sure thing, but meeting the real him, my fantasy lover burst and faded into the fog that day.
And there you have it, my fantasy lover experience. I was young and naive with nothing to compare my truths with, but now in hindsight, I am older and wiser (all these clichés, but they are what they are), and if I had it all over to do, I wouldn’t have let my make-believe truths prevent me from getting to know the real-life Eddie. Who knows, I might have fallen in love with the real him, too, had I given him a chance.
I can’t do anything about my past, but I can share my truths with others going through a similar experience. I see a lot of similarities in the Ricky and Lucy story, and it saddens me to think that Ricky might lose his dream love because he doesn’t realize that his expectations for Lucy to be the person he created are unrealistic. If my hypothesis is correct, I hope Ricky will recognize that he, like me, has a fantasy lover, who he has unfairly expected to fulfill the character he preconceived her to be.
For Ricky and me and anybody else like us, we need to leave our make-believe worlds in the fantasy zone and allow all our relationships in real life to play out naturally without prejudiced expectations. Let each surprise us with their uniqueness, which we may or may not like, but they are who they are. The neat part is we can learn to compromise. Lucy said she felt like she couldn’t be herself around Ricky, which is a devastating realization. I’m a firm believer that we should be comfortable around our significant other, especially at home.
There is something quite endearing about loving someone so much that they’d create a make-believe world with them in it. It’s also sad because nothing is better than the real thing. Thus, it’s not every day someone gets an opportunity to live out their fantasy with their fantasy lover as Ricky does. For that reason, I sure hope he does it right and does not blow it. If he does, all he would ever have is Lucy as his fantasy lover.