My first day back in Malibu I was so light and happy I almost didn’t recognize myself. The sun was out and the ocean was shimmering like Ariel’s sparkle gown and my heart was so full it almost ached.
I am completely in love with Malibu.
A friend once told me that she had fallen in love with a place. In her case it was New York City, Brooklyn, to be specific, and I remember listening to her speak about her home in animated and adoring tones, much like the ones I used to describe the boy I was mad about, and thinking I had never really experienced that. Was that even a thing? Do people fall in love with places, and if so is it like falling in love with a person?
I guess I got my answer this week.
Yes and yes.
You would think that falling in love with a person would be different than falling in love with a location, but in my experience it isn’t. I could list all sorts of awkward love parallels about initial attraction and compatibility, but the bottom line is when I’m in love I giggle a whole lot and when I’m in Malibu I find myself giggling and giggling and giggling for no reason at all.
Oh yes, I love Malibu.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that when it comes to relationships Malibu is The Perfect Boyfriend.
See that? Awkward love parallels accomplished anyway.
This got me thinking about my relationships with the other cities I have lived in and called home. If Malibu is The Perfect Boyfriend, then what exactly were they?
Las Vegas was The First Love
Vegas is the first place I remember clearly devoting my whole heart to. I loved my life and I loved my friends and I loved freely and without thinking because I was young, and that’s what we do when we don’t realize that love only comes around every once in a great while and we should savor it. I didn’t think about loving, I just did.
When things ended with Vegas, I didn’t get over it, not for a long time. After all, first loves. They stay with you.
My freaking goodness I should know.
South Jordan was The Best Friend
SoJo is the guy that I completely adore, but not in a romantic way. It’s the one I know will always be there for me when I come around, but not the guy I want to spend my life with. Not a love match. For either of us, really.
SoJo doesn’t want me long-term. SoJo knows if I were there forever I would be dissatisfied and our relationship would be ruined. We’re better as platonic friends and so we were and so we remain.
Which led me to…
Provo, The One That Never Should Have Happened
Provo was bad fit all around. It’s the relationship I gloss over when telling my life story and the relationship I only ever talk about in hushed tones with the people closest to me. We’ve all picked the wrong match before. My wrong match was Provo.
And then there was…
Crestwood, Kentucky, The Blind Date.
I did not choose Crestwood, but rather it was chosen for me when my family moved there after I graduated from high school. I did my best to give Crestwood a shot, after all, you never know? Maybe something could be there with such opposites? Maybe after Provo anything was better? But alas, there was nothing and I left barely remembering it ever happened.
Which brought me back, of course, to SoJo, my good pal, (all roads lead to SoJo?) and once we had spent a sufficient amount of time together and I had regrouped I moved on to…
London, The Dream Guy
London was the relationship that I had spent so many years fantasizing about that it could never live up to its impossible expectations. London carried the weight of every dream my dream-heavy heart could project, and, as with most Dream Relationships, it crumbled under the pressure.
London did, however, introduce me to therapy.
And so it was back to the always open arms of SoJo and then it was to Malibu, because I was getting restless and SoJo is a pal.
By now we know how I feel about Malibu.
I considered naming Malibu “The One,” because that’s what I like to do when I fall for something. I want it. All of it. Forever. You and me, all the time. But alas again, I fear Malibu is simply a good phase in my life. A boyfriend to remember for the happy times, but not the one to call home forever.
I think The One is yet to come.
This year my life is going to change in significant ways and I don’t know where I’ll end up. San Francisco has been on my mind for some time, kind of a hazy shape of idea that hasn’t formed into any real plans yet. There’s always the possibility of LA, of course. And then there’s New York. Ah, New York. ”Finishing school for girls like us,” as Jen Lindley told Joey Potter. I’ve never been one of those people obsessed with getting to New York, but perhaps that is why it will happen for me. Cait’s vibing it, and I trust nothing if not Dawson’s Creek and Caitlin’s vibes for my life.
So perhaps New York is The One.
Or San Francisco.
Or maybe, just maybe, if I play my cards right and cross my fingers twice and throw a pinch of salt over my shoulder at exactly the right time, my Perfect Boyfriend could become The One.
Heaven knows we’re a good match.