Catnip and I had this exchange in email. It followed a lunch where we sat together in my truck and I said “You should run away with me” The moment I said it she was uncomfortable. I though she would be flattered or like it. It wasn’t a proposition. I said it casually but it made her uncomfortable and she immediately left. Ran away would only be a little overstated. She immediatly opened the door got out and left. Some of this is because of the difference between the two of us. I have made love to one woman in my life, not Catnip, my wife. She has had more lovers and has run away with lovers in the past. So when I said it meaning to flatter or convey how strongly I felt she heard the literal proposition. So I wrote her this.
Catnip Aug 15 2005
Maybe I should just let it go, but I feel like I need to say something. I would rather be in trouble with you for say too much rather than to little.
I’m sorry I asked you to run away with me. It’s not at all what I meant. It was more musing or thinking, a plea for affection. I felt bad when you felt you had to tell me no so directly. To be honest I felt a little wounded by it, as if I was just some guy trying to get into your pants, which I am not. Either way I’m sorry. It is of course you right and my mistake, but It has bothered me since it happened and I didn’t’t want it to eat away at me.
I don’t want to hurt you. I’m sorry if I have become someone you need to defend yourself from in any form. I won’t say I’m sorry for loving you, because I’m not. If I had any courage at all I would say goodbye and leave you alone. I’ve written a dozen letters doing exactly that. But I can’t bring myself to send one of them. Instead I will say I’m sorry once again and give you one of the sonnets I’ve written instead, because this is how I really feel.
… Her Reply…
Thank you for the notes (and the notes you send to my office) I don’t feel threatened all that often, but every now and then I do get a little nervous. Mostly because I think of you as such a good friend and a place of safety…and every now and then you say something that makes me feel like this innocent but powerful relationship is something different from what I understand it to be.
I love you very much and appreciate your love for me. I know you don’t want to hurt me, or say things that make me uncomfortable. I like you too, and I enjoy our conversations and our random kung fu karate chops ( at this point your dead and should have someone else read the rest of this email.)
We are on for lunch on Wednesday, but don’t hold your breath till then cuz you will die!