I’m at a Barbeque and Matt says something about his allergies.
Someone else says, “Why don’t you get some (allergy med) ?”
Matt says that he’s taking Zyrtec or something.
I say, “Why don’t you get… over it?” (Yeah, I say stuff like that sometimes.)
Everyone is all, “Oooooooh!” and Matt’s response is to pretend that he’s mad and put his fists up playfully. This is a pretty normal thing in our group of friends. Matt, in particular, play-fights with everyone because he’s brotherly and fun like that.
Sad truth: I’ve never, even to the slightest degree, engaged Matt (or very many people at all) with this kind of thing.
Every time something like this happens, when I could have a food fight or play chicken at a pool party (that’s the one where you try to knock people off each other’s shoulders, right?), I get this horrible feeling of
“Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it!”
Matt was standing there next to me, and I became oddly aware of his size. Matt is pretty tall, and he’s the kind of guy who you like to have around when you’re walking downtown with friends late at night because you feel a little safer with him there. I’m a relatively normal-sized girl, which means that I’m smaller than Matt is. His chest is at my eye-level and as much as I like for people to think I’m ultra-tough, I felt an odd moment of terror that if I were to play-fight with him, he might accidentally hurt me.
Matt is a really good guy, and I don’t want you to think my fear was even remotely his fault. From the past several years of knowing him, I can honestly say he is one of the smartest and gentlest men I know, and it’s been a privilege to call him a friend …and I know that he’s careful.
I know that.
So I was standing there, having an internal battle about whether or not to engage in some perfectly safe and light-hearted frivolity, or continue being a big chicken… and I decided that I was going to trust. Matt and I shadow-boxed for a few seconds, and it was lovely and no one got hurt.
Sometimes I forget that I’m making choices and so is everyone else.
For years, I haven’t had a conscious thought that Matt is bigger and stronger than I am
… but I’ve been making decisions based on a subconscious fear.
For years, I’ve tried to be vulnerable with people. I’ve told them things I didn’t much feel like telling them, but an odd obstacle I’m facing is that I’m impressively good at doing things that scare me. I don’t want to be the kind of girl who chooses to be vulnerable. Every-once-in-awhile, I want my deep, disorganized emotions to match my behavior so others can know that I’m not grudgingly choosing to behave a certain way, but I want them to have confidence that I’m entrusting myself to them… because God has surrounded me with smart, good-hearted friends who I know are careful. I know that.