“We’ll see if he’s still sending you roses six months from now,” a co-worker said, walking past my desk that was brimming over with Valentine’s Day flowers from my new boyfriend. I dismissed her comments as pure jealousy.
Six months later, I thought back on her words with a sense of wonderment. Was this woman clairvoyant? How had she known that in just a few month’s time my boyfriend – who had been steadily sending me roses of every hue – would now rather sit at a bar with his friends on a Friday night than see me? Of course, he still called me and took me on dates? but something was horribly missing.
The “gaga” was gone.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “gaga”, it is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: ?marked by wild enthusiasm, infatuated, doting.? I missed this wild enthusiasm. The infatuation. The doting. I missed getting each other little surprise gifts, spending late nights talking on the phone, taking Sunday drives into the country, talking about our future, going for walks around the nearby lake holding hands, sneaking in a kiss at every possible moment. Most of all, I missed my favorite part of gaga. This is when, after every meal eaten out, movie watched, purchase bought together, or trip we went on, my boyfriend would hand me the receipt and tell me to keep it in a special place so we could look back on what we did one day. Over the months, I acquired a large bag of these memory receipts.
Needless to say, after a few weekend nights spent alone at home, and no gaga, I proceeded to take that large bag of memory receipts and dump them into my boyfriend?s lap.
?This was gaga!? I fumed, ?I see that it?s gone now. We may as well break up because there?s no fun in the relationship anymore.?
To be honest, I expected my boyfriend to agree. I expected that we would break up, find someone else to be gaga with for 6 months, and continue to repeat the process into infinity.
Instead, he looked crushed. ?But don?t you love me?? he asked.
?Yes, but there?s no more gaga,? I said, feeling like the relationship was doomed. If there was no gaga, what was there? I wasn?t trying to be selfish, but I was not feeling first place in his life anymore. I wanted to relive the first six months we dated. Nothing seemed special anymore, and it was upsetting. I definitely needed some advice about this predicament. So I sought the help of my clairvoyant co-worker.
?So the gaga is gone,? she said, looking amused. ?I knew it. It typically lasts 1-6 months. You?re lucky ? you kept it for a while.?
?But how about all of the couples that have been dating for years?? I asked. ?Or the ones that get married? How does the relationship last when the gaga disappears??
?Gaga is a funny thing,? she said. ?It?s what draws two people together, and then it leaves. What happens next depends on the two people. The relationship depends on how much the both of you want it to work, and how much the both of you want to be together. If you can make it last and achieve happiness by working on it together ? that?s the real gaga.?
It is now 14 months into my relationship with my boyfriend. And while the gaga has ended, we put our best efforts into making our relationship fun, happy, and meaningful. Sure, he still goes out with his friends without me, and I will go out without him. This is normal and to be expected. But the next day, or the next weekend, we both make it a point to do something together ? whether it means taking a romantic walk or going away for a weekend on a trip. We learned that gaga is a state of mind, and it?s up to us to be in it or not.
I have recently started my second bag of receipt memories.