Has anyone ever read the book Love, Rosie (also published as Rosie Dunne or Where Rainbows End) by Cecelia Ahearn? Its a novel that follows the decades of friendship of Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart through letters, emails and text messages. It’s one of my ten favourite books. It explores the nuances of communication, romance and how complicated we make life. It also helps that Rosie is a bit of a clumsy big mouth like myself.
My friendship circle will tell you that I am an old romantic – I might not admit it to them but I watch RomComs and cry. They can attest to my addiction to crushes (I may prefer crushes to relationships. There’s a euphoria even thinking about that person you like/love). Establishing a strong friendship with a guy, spending loads of times with him, ignoring my friends, and when not with said guy reliving and relaying funny moments with my girls. All the while not realising that I might actually be in love with this male friend.
Conversations usually go something like this:
Friend A: “We went to dinner last night”
Me: “Oh really? Enoch (don’t ask why I chose such a shit fake name but if I named guy friend anything else, the guys in question would know who I am talking about. Enoch it is. I also altered the scenarios to allow myself some dignity) and I stayed on the phone for 4 two days ago and talked about going to dinner and talked about dinner.”
Friend A: “Umm, okay”
Me: “So do you think Enoch would like that shirt?
Friend B: “You talk about Enoch a lot”
Me: “No I don’t”
Friend B: “Yes you do. You don’ talk about anything else”
Me: “I discuss all my friends equitably. Enoch just happens to be who I am discussing now”
Friend B: “Uh huh. I think you have feelings for him”
Me: “Bye bitch”
Me: “I went for a walk with Enoch”
Me: “I think I am in love with him”
Friend A: “Tell me something I didn’t know”
Me: “Shutup. What should I do?”
Friend A: “Tell him. Isn’t that obvious….”
Me: “No, it isn’t. How should I tell him? What should I tell him? Can I write a letter?”
Friend A: “Absolutely NOT. Life is short just go for it”
Me: “But what if he has a girlfriend? What if he rejects me? What if tells me I look like a man?”
Friend A: “What if he tells you he is in love with you?”
Me: “Doubt it”
Friend A: “The worse he can say is no”
Me: “The worse he can say is ‘Hells no, what is wrong with you? We are just friends.’”
So I sleep on the advice of friend A and attempt to muster up the courage to say something to Enoch (I am regretting that pseudonym now). Your girl is all fired up and recognising all of her strengths – excellent communicator, semi-good looking, well travelled, intelligent, driven, ray ray rah rah……..
Instant Messaging ensues
Me: Hey (I am ditching the quotations because I am sick of typing them and they are messing with my aesthetic)
Enoch: Hey. What’s up?
**spirit of courage immediately drains from my body like blood from a cadaver**
Me: Not much. Just saying hiya.
**I have that weird feeling like what I imagine hot flashes in menopause to feel like**
Enoch: Makes a nondescript joke
Me: I laugh
The conversation ends and the opportunity (for failure) slips from my fingers. Queue Gilbert O’Sullivan
Back to the book…….
Basically Rosie and Alex are best friends. They share everything with each other and joke comfortably – essential in any relationship. Rosie’s humour is self deprecating but Alex sees the beauty in her. Instead of telling him she loves him, she gets drunk at prom ends up impregnated. This is the first in a series of what-if pivotal moments in their relationship – instead of saying how they feel about each other, they dance around words for a myriad of reasons – Alex and his parents are guilty of snobbery, Rosie gets married, Alex gets married, death, life. Like all good romantic comedies, Alex and Rosie get together…..when they are 50 years old. Insert WTF emoji.
In this life, we let opportunities pass us by for so many reasons. Pride, shame, feelings of inadequacy, fear of failure, distance, difficulty, existing failing marriages. Should we wait for the time to be right? Or should we make the time right for ourselves?
Don’t mistake my words of encouragement for new found bravery, I am still a punk. lol.
“It’s funny because when you’re a child, you believe you can be anything you want to be, go wherever you want to go. There’s no limit to what you can dream. You expect the unexpected, you believe in magic, in fairy tales, and in possibilities. Then you grow older and that innocence is shattered and somewhere along the way the reality of life gets in the way and you’re hit by the realization that you can’t be all you wanted to be, you just might have to settle for a little bit less.
Or perhaps a variation of what you once wanted.
Why do we stop believing in ourselves? Why do we let facts and figures and anything but dreams rule our lives?”
Excerpt from Love, Rosie
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