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  • My boyfriend and I have had the ups and downs you would expect from two divorced people learning to re-navigate after a decade or more of being conditioned for one type of relationship. We try to keep our old habits and occasional tendencies toward projection in check, and to learn from one another and ourselves individually. We often need reminders that we're allowed to do with our relationship whatever we damn well please - we don't have to do the Meet, Date, Move In, Get Married, Get a Dog, Paint the Fence White routine that society tells us we should be doing. We get to just enjoy each other.

    Recently I was writing letters with a friend. We were at a hipster wine bar that I keep trying to hate, but just can't - how can you hate a wine bar that only sells imported wine (in wine country, it is a welcome change) and has events like Letter Writing Night?

    Throughout the evening we ran into people we knew, and met the people they were with. Everyone was in good spirits and got along well, games were played, wine was poured, it was a lovely evening. About a week later, a man came into my store with his dog. He asked if I remembered him, and though I didn't because I'm terrible with both names and faces, I said 'of course!' and was friendly until I finally placed him as being one of the people at our table of ever-revolving friends that night.

    My radar went up. I own a children's used clothing store, this man has no kids. He was overly jokey. As I mentioned, he had his dog with him. I'm no fool - I knew what was happening. Before leaving he grabbed my card off the counter and said he'd let me know if he needed a gift for any kids sometime soon, heh heh. Luckily my card still has my married name on it, I've been too poor to order new ones.

    As soon as he left I logged onto facebook and changed my relationship status from 'Single' to 'In a Relationship', which is something my boyfriend and I hadn't bothered to do in the year we'd been a couple. I didn't think much about it, I knew my boyfriend took facebook about as seriously as I did - as in, not at all - and so it didn't occur to me to even mention it to him.

    A few days later we were giggling on the couch after a sweet evening of sitting on my wet balcony, having covered the chairs with plastic bags, and toasting to the holidays with spiked hot cider. I told him that I'd gotten a text from a friend that day saying 'I see you're finally in a relationship, haha. It wasn't official till it was on fb'. Noticing his confusion, I told him the story of the facebook relationship status change. He stopped giggling and said, "what?!" I was confused. "Um, what?" I asked. He said, "well, this is weird, but my feelings are kind of hurt, actually. I get what you're saying, but I wish you'd come to me and talked about it, then I could have decided if I wanted to do it, too."

    Needless to say, his reaction surprised him just as much as it did me.

    I said, "well, I mean...some guy comes into my shop with a dog? Maybe he was just being neighborly, but I wanted to make it clear that I'm not single if he starts fishing around. I mean, come on, everyone knows that when a guy brings his dog around, he's trying to get laid." My boyfriend agreed. "But I also didn't want to put you in an awkward position. I mean, we've gone this long without changing our stupid statuses, I didn't think it was a big deal. I didn't think it warranted a conversation, really." I apologized for the misunderstanding, and left it at that.

    This morning I logged onto facebook and saw that my boyfriend had listed himself as 'In a Relationship', and he'd claimed me as his girl. It made me laugh, seeing the huge picture of me under the blue heart on his page, taking up so much space. "Well, no going back now," I thought. "I guess it's really official."


    The comment below says "Hey, that was supposed to be a secret!"
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