PeterPan and Tink
Copyright, all rights reserved 12-16-98
"When the heart is won, the
understanding is easily convinced."
~ C. Simmons
|Good Morning Tink!
Surprised? I stayed up after you went to bed last night and decided to sit down to write this e-mail to you.
As you know, I have always been able to convey my deepest thoughts much better by writing them down. Since we have had such a difficult time communicating with each other lately, perhaps this might be a way that we could use to find each other again. As serious as the problems between us have become, as well as our failure to be able to resolve them without arguing, this seems to me to be a possible way to start communicating again.
My thinking is that (being a night owl) I would write down my thoughts to you each night and (since you are an early bird) you could write your's out for me early each day. In this way we might be able to finally deal with some of the issues that have brought us to this point.
To make this work, we would have to avoid openly discussing the matters we are covering here. It would be difficult but at least we would avoid all of the frustration and anger we have been directing at each other lately. Do you think we could do this?
There is a wall between us and it has been slowly built up over twenty-two years of marriage. Someone once said, "The only way to take down a wall is one block at a time." Nothing would make me happier than to find a way to begin the process of tearing it down.
Therefore, I am asking if you would be willing to give this a try? Please let me know what you think.
Dear PeterPan, What a surprise. Finding your e-mail to me. Your very first one to me ever. How nice. <s>
Yes, I do think your idea might have some merit. Why not? We have tried everything else, haven't we? You know as well as I do that we have little to lose. You are right. It is worth a try.
Oh, Peter, how did we ever get to this place?
I know that you have been unhappy for a long time now. It has become even more noticeable since you turned forty a few months ago. I'd like to think it is nothing more than some kind of mid-life crisis you are experiencing, but I am sure that it goes far beyond that.
So much has changed between us. There was a time when you couldn't wait to get home each day to be with me. Now, you come home late and we hardly say five words to each other unless we are arguing. You used to do a lot of little things for me. I miss those sweet love notes, the occasional box of chocolate covered cherries, and even the grocery store bouquet of flowers you used to bring home. You don't even cuddle with me on the sofa anymore.
You have gotten upset with me when I have told you this before, but I still feel that another factor was when you left teaching to accept the vice principal position. It may have meant an increase in our income, but the pressures of being an administrator have taken their toll on you and also on our relationship. As a result, you bring your problems home and end up taking everything out on me. You have become very short with me most of the time. There is an awful tenseness between us. That is the reason why I go to bed early. I'm so afraid that I might say something that will make you angry with me.
Well, I have probably said more than enough already. If I go on, you might change your mind about this new approach you have come up with. Maybe I have already ruined it. If so, please forgive me. I am trying to be honest with you. That's all.
Your wife, Tink
Since this whole thing was my idea, I suppose that I am going to have to stick with it for awhile longer even though your first response was so negative.
Frankly, Sherrie, I just don't understand where you are coming from.
You tell me that you wish I wouldn't have taken the v.p. position at the school, yet you were more than willing to move into our new home. In fact, you were ecstatic if you recall. You know as well as I do that we could never have afforded it if not for the increase in my salary that came with the new position. Besides that, where do you think we got the money to get you your new car; not to mention the two credit cards you use (and often at that)? Without the increased income you would still be living in that cracker box and driving that rust bucket of a car.
You also brought up some of the other things that bother you. Gee, where have I heard them before??? How many times do I have to tell you that I am exhausted when I get home each day and don't feel like talking very much? I talk to people all day long and I would go crazy if I had to spend every night doing more of the same. What's wrong with enjoying a quiet evening once in awhile, anyhow?
Then there is this cuddling thing. Let's really put everything on the table here. You won't even let me make love to you anymore. How could one woman have so many aches and pains? Those rare times when we do have sex, I feel like I am making love to one of those rubber chickens they sell at a novelty store. Why do you stare at the ceiling when we are making love? Is somebody showing a movie up there and I haven't been told about it?
Furthermore, when have I ever gotten a card or a box of chocolate from you? Is gift giving something only men do for their wives? If so, who made up that stupid rule?
I can see right now that this idea was idiotic and it's just not going to work. I am sorry that I wasted your time.
Dear PeterPan, Why are you giving up so easy? I still think that this is a good idea. Let's try to hang with it for at least a little while longer. You know what they say–"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
The truth of the matter is that I am not angry as a result of the things you said in your last e-mail, but I do feel very hurt. You have never understood that.
With me, the hurt always comes before the anger.
Yes, I do enjoy our new home very much. It is a dream come true–for both of us. I am also very appreciative to have such a nice car, although, I would have settled for something less had you not decided that you needed to pick it out for me. Having the freedom to use our credit cards whenever is nice, but you must remember that I only charge small purchases with them and always pay them up at the end of the month. Probably due to the habit developed over many years of living from paycheck to paycheck.
You must also remember that I do contribute to our finances with my part-time work at the library. I know that I don't make much from it but you have never made a payment on the either credit card because I have taken care of them myself.
The thing you must realize is that, as nice as all of these things are, I married Peter Keller long before we had a new house. I know that you think that by being a good provider (and you really are), you are showing your love to me. Still, I must tell you that if it were all taken away in an instant, it is only you who I would really need.
Do you remember when we were first married? You would tell me that you were a lost boy and that you wanted me to find you and take you away to Never Land. That was back when we didn't have anything. It is obvious now that I thought Never Land was a relationship filled with happiness while you perceived it as a new home, two new cars, and a wallet full of credit cards.
Peter, you have always worked hard and seen to it that we were always secure. Now that Tommy is in college, we still have money to spend after all of the bills are paid each month. I have always admired you for your clear focus and determination to succeed. Please don't ever doubt that for a moment.
It's just that I terribly miss the Peter I used to know. In my mind, you have become a lost boy again. I am a lucky woman to have all of these nice things. What I really want is my PeterPan back again.
I have to run or I will be late for work. Perhaps it is better that we focus on one issue at a time anyhow. We can address the other things later.
I don't like you very much now, but I do still love you very much. Do you understand?
I read your last note to me several times before starting to compose this one to you.
Yes, I do remember when we first started out. You are right. We had absolutely nothing other than that old car with the four bald tires and a few suit cases full of clothing. In fact, I hardly had any civilian clothes due to just being mustered out of the military. So your point is well taken. We were very happy together back then and I can't argue with you on that point.
I remember something else, too. I used to call you everyday from work to remind you that you were my happy thought. Gosh, how long has that been? Why did I stop?
Somehow my priorities changed along the way. I do recall chewing at the bit to get home to you each day. Now all I think about is making the mortgage payment and balancing the checkbook at the end of the month. When did my priorities get so turned around?
Perhaps, as far as you are concerned, I have become a lost boy again. I just don't want to ever lose you. Maybe, given enough time, I can get things back in perspective again.
I do understand.
P.S. Thanks for the cute little card and the peanut butter cups. It was sweet of you to leave them for me beside the computer.
Oh Peter, please know that you are still my happy thought and I want so badly to be your's again. That's what makes all this so very hard.
Sometimes I despair in wondering if we could ever recapture what we had together so long ago. I know now that we were probably married too young. Our little Tommy (not so little anymore) came into our lives before we had our first anniversary. You were only nineteen. We were still just kids but at least we were so happy.
Now Hook's crocodile has come along with his ticking clock to remind us that life is going by too fast. Our little boy is in his sophomore year at college. My hair has started to gray while your's has begun receding. Somewhere along the way we started drifting away from each other.
As for my part, I think much of it had to do with what we went through with our Tommy. His rebellious attitude through his teens caused you to be in a constant state of anger and I felt that I was always caught in the middle. When he was finally arrested for drug possession, it was the lowest point ever in our lives. I don't think either of us handled the situation very well. When Tommy left home for those six weeks during his senior year, I thought my world had fallen apart. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't cry over him. I was so glad when he finally came home. Peter, could it be that we so concentrated on our son that we lost track of each other in the meantime? I fear that this may be so.
You dealt with it by plunging even more into your work and I took the job in the children's section of the library. I just wanted to be around innocent little children again; to remind myself of the way that Tommy used to be before it all got so complicated. I guess I never told you that. Perhaps I should have.
I wish I could spread some of my pixie dust all around and make that terrible time in our lives disappear.
It was so hard for both of us. I must go (tears). Love, Tink
Did you know that once in awhile I drive by the old house? I wish I could tell you that I have nothing but pleasant memories of living there but that would be a lie. All I remember are the bad times that we had with our son. In a way I guess we ended up raising our own lost boy. The only consolation we have is that he seems to be doing so much better now. Can you believe it? Our son who used to smoke pot wants to be a psychologist. Go figure.
You are right about the fact that I take my frustrations out on you. I don't know if I am really cut out to handle the pressures of this new position. When I was in the classroom teaching kids I was really doing my thing. Now I have to constantly make sure that Mr. Steed and the school board are kept happy with my performance. That was true to some degree before but certainly not on this level.
That being said, I need to ask you for your forgiveness. I will also try my best to leave my work behind me when I come home to you each day.
I don't know how successful I'll be with this but I will try.
Dear Peter Pan, I guess that it never dawned on me that you felt as deeply about our son. You kept it hid so well. I just didn't realize. I should have, but I didn't. For that I am truly sorry.
Your willingness to try to leave your work behind you when you come home means a lot to me. Still, I don't want you to think that you should never talk to me about it. A man should be able to tell his wife about his work. The thing that I have had a problem with is when you bring your work frustrations home with you and then allow them to drive wedges into our relationship.
I want you to know that I did notice the change last night. It was really sweet of you to come and sit down next to me after you got home. You asked me how my day had gone. Trying to answer you felt a little awkward at first. I know that the children's section of the library is not exactly living in the fast lane, but it is where I live every afternoon. You listened and tried to be interested. Afterwards, I wanted to hug you and thank you. Now I wish that I would have. It bothers me so much that I don't feel free to reach out and touch you anymore. Love, Tink x
Good morning, Tink!
I had forgotten how wonderfully sensitive you can be.
It was really nice to snuggle up with you on the sofa tonight to watch the "Hook" video. Like you, I was also touched by the scene where the little lost boy stretched Peter Panning's face all around, then looked straight into his eyes and said, "Oh, there you are, Peter." Like the character in the movie, it seems that we, too, have grown up, gotten older, and forgotten that we were young once upon a time. In case you are wondering, behind this middle-aged face the young eighteen-year-old you remember is still lurking–wanting to get out once in awhile.
Sherrie, when did we stop being young and happy together? When did we become these two old people who lost touch with each other? Cuddling with you tonight reminded me of how much we once enjoyed just being with each other.
Is there any way that we can find that moment where we started drifting away from each other? If so, could we start all over again and get it right this time? Or is it too late?
P.S. By the way, you got the front of my shirt all damp with your blubbering. Please blubber on me anytime you want to. X
Dear PeterPan, Cuddling with you last night–how wonderful. Yes, it has been a long time.
We were obviously thinking the same thing while watching that scene in the movie. Sometimes I would like to stand in front of a mirror, stretch my own face around a little bit, and then be able to say, "Oh, there you are, Sherrie!" Even though I know I am still in here, I feel like I have changed too much. I'm not the happy and uninhibited young woman that I used to be.
Now there are barricades around my heart. It has something to do with emotional survival. The many times that you have shown your impatience with me has caused me to withdraw into a shell for my own self protection. If you recall, I used to stand up to you when we disagreed. Somewhere along the line I gave up fighting with you. You always had to have the last word, no matter what. I know now that my tendency to back off when you got that way was because we still had a child in the house. Now that Tommy is gone, I have decided that it is time to assert myself again. It is just inconceivable to me that I should spend the rest of my life all bundled up inside because I am afraid to disagree with you.
Yes, it felt so good to be close to you last night and watch a movie together. Still, I must be honest with you. Whoever I was has been lost and the wonderful man I married is now a stressed out school administrator. I so badly want to hold your face in my hands and be able to say, "Oh, there you are Peter."
Please come back to me. Please. Love, your Tink x
I thought a lot about your last note to me. Like the impish boy in our favorite story, I have lost my shadow and don't know where I left it. Every now and then I think that it is within reach but then it runs away and eludes me. Now I have come to the place where I think that perhaps I am the shadow and the real Peter is the one who is lost. If you should happen to find me, please sew my shadow back on. You see, without you I don't think that I can ever find myself again.
Concerning my impatience with you, well, I feel very guilty and upset with myself to have done this to you. I would like to defend myself by using work stress as an excuse but that wouldn't be completely true. There really is no justifiable reason for making you afraid of me. You should always feel free to express your view on matters even if you don't see things the same way I do. Would you forgive me?
In recent days I have started looking forward again to seeing you each night. I will call you today to see how you are doing.
Love you so much,
P.S. Did you enjoy your foot massage last night?
Dear Peter Pan, The foot massage was wonderful. Thank you. Please feel free to give me one anytime you get the urge. Each of my toes feel very loved.
I must tell you that I cried when I read your e-mail to me. Your asking me to forgive you means more than you will ever know. Of course, I forgive you. I love you so much. I like you a lot too. I really do.
Please know also that there are many areas where I also need your forgiveness. We still have so much to work out with each other. Nevertheless, I feel that we have made some headway with these little notes to each other. Do you feel the same way? It was a wonderful idea. I have so looked forward to checking my mail each morning; finding you waiting here for me–telling me what is on your heart. So special.
For the first time in many years, I can't wait to get home from the library knowing that you will soon be coming through the door. Also, I will be looking forward to your phone call. Is this a new beginning? I do hope that it is. Oh, Peter, I do love you. Your Tink xoxox
I know that I am out of turn here. You are not home yet and the delivery boy just dropped off the flowers and the darling note you wrote that was attached to it. How perfectly sweet of you.
The phone call was also very special to me. I had forgotten the words to "Never Smile at a Crocodile" but you obviously have not. By the way, your voice isn't half bad for an old middle-aged guy.
Now, why don't you sign-off and come to the bedroom. I want to sew your shadow back on for you and it would not be wise to make me wait too long. So, just close your eyes and think of me as your happy thought. I am going to sprinkle my pixie dust all over you and take you with me to Never Land. Hurry now. First star on the right. Love, Tink XXX