"I would have loved to, but I've accepted the fact that it's probably never going to happen," I said. "I've made my peace with it." He smiled understandingly—so understandingly that my eyes welled with tears. Horrified, I acted as if there were something wrong with my contact lenses.
But Jeremy was always very kind. I had recently gone into therapy (mostly to try to figure out why I had such disastrous taste in men), and like a dope I had accepted an early morning time slot. So I'd see my shrink, sob through my session, and come to the office with mascara smeared all over my face. One morning I arrived in particularly terrible shape, still weeping. Jeremy materialized at my desk. He didn't ask if I was all right; he knew perfectly well that I wasn't. "Go home," he said firmly. "I'll go tell them you didn't feel well. Just get out of here."
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I nodded gratefully, took a cab to my apartment and fell into a deep, exhausted sleep. The phone rang at 4 P.M. "Just checking up on you," he said. "How are you doing?"
"A little better," I said, partly because that's what you're supposed to say and partly because I suddenly realized it was true: the simple fact that he had cared enough to call made me feel at least a little bit comforted.
Then one day, Jeremy asked me to go to a program at a theater a couple of blocks from his apartment, which I had never visited. "Now you're in for it," said my closest office friend, with unseemly glee. "He'll ask you back to his place, and then he'll make a pass at you. What are you going to do?" Jeremy did invite me to see his apartment, and he did make a pass. The next day he asked me to marry him. Here's where I have to admit that I was a commitment-phobe myself. Stalling for escape clauses, I asked if we could have a long engagement. "How long did you have in mind?" he inquired.
"Maybe 10 years?" He shook his head calmly, still smiling that understanding smile. My eyes welled with tears again.
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At our wedding, I was so terrified of getting married that I almost fainted. Jeremy kept a steady grip on my elbow. Panicked, I kept sneaking sideways looks at him and thinking desperately, "But he's not my type!"