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*This is the entry that I was supposed to post yesterday, but the running thing was weighing heavier on my mind.

Traversing I-4, the road between my home and church/Mr. P.’s side of town/downtown/everything else in Central Florida, I pass a weigh station. It’s always full of trucks and truckers, moving swiftly into and out of the flow of traffic, carrying loads to and fro. While coming up with ideas on how to address the second half of the un-timatum debate, my mind meandered over to weigh stations. How many people are in weigh station relationships and don’t even know it? How many people know it and are praying the other person doesn’t mistake it for more than what it is?

In case you are unfamiliar with weigh stations, I’ll give you a brief depiction (in my limited knowledge) of a weigh station. Weigh stations serve two primary functions: as a rest stop for truckers and the place where a load is weighed. A tired trucker, rather than just pulling over on the side of the road or into an empty parking lot after hours, can pull into a weigh station and get some much needed rest. He can stretch his legs, go to the bathroom, maybe grab a snack or a nap. He can also get his load weighed. A truck is weighed a few times along the journey to ensure it’s carrying everything it’s supposed to be carrying–no more and no less. They have some trucks now that are equipped with technology that allows them to drive through weigh station checkpoints, virtually checking the weight so the driver can continue on it’s way without stopping, but initially, every truck had to stop at weigh stations along its route. It had to be at weigh stations at certain times to ensure the driver was still on schedule. It was a checkpoint, if you will.

Weigh station relationships fall into two similar categories. People in weigh station relationships are either resting in the relationship or using it to evaluate themselves. Some people are only in certain relationships because they need a break from the kinds of relationships they’ve been having. These weigh station users aren’t interested in changing the types of relationships they are having in order to find true love; they just want a rest before reentering the fray, some refreshment for the rest of the long journey. Others are in these relationships to “take stock” of things and see where they are in the journey. While the person is evaluating their load, their progress, or their schedule, they are involved in a relationship that they think will better help them evaluate how far they’ve come and what they have to offer.

I’ve identified five major categories of weigh station relationships. If this sounds like your relationship, don’t take offense. I am not using your experience to poke fun at you (as I probably don’t know about it). However, if it does sound like the situation you’re in, it may be time for a “State of Our Union” Address.

  1. The Rebound: This is a classic weigh station relationship. When we experience a break up, we may want to try and get right back out there. The trouble is, we haven’t properly healed from the previous relationship. Perhaps you fall into a relationship with someone who’s always expressed an interest in you that you really didn’t return. It’s comforting to be wanted. Or perhaps you find a man completely opposite of your ex (on the surface). Either way, you are picking a new mate based on an old one, constantly comparing the two. You may still be bitter and angry about the way things went in the previous relationship. Maybe you’ll decide it’s too soon to be in another relationship and break it off. Maybe you’ll meet someone new. Hopefully, you won’t hurt someone and push them into a rebound relationship of their own.
  2. The Half-time Show:  Some people have no real interest in a relationship other than to be entertained. Perhaps money is tight and they want to go out. Maybe they are bored. It could even be that you are willing to lavish gifts, trips, and praise upon them. Whatever the reason, some people are in relationships to have someone else feed them and/or buy them things. This includes your golddiggers as well as the pretty girl who knows you will do whatever it takes to get a little attention from her. This is also the guy who calls you for sex and homecooked meals. These people are in it to use you for whatever they can get from you.
  3. Hook-up to Healthy: This is the relationship that starts with two people hooking up. Maybe the sexual relationship was/is so wonderful, you decide to try and make it a “real” relationship. The trouble is, you have the cart before the horse. You and this person could have nothing else in common, but you can’t break up because you enjoy the sexual intimacy. When things are good, they’re great, but when things are bed, all you can think about is whether you’ll make it to makeup sex. This is where you get the men with the crazy exes/baby mamas that slash his tires when he comes to visit you, or that couple you know who seem to hate each other but can’t stay broken up. Eventually, someone will get tired of the back and forth and break it off for good (or just find someone else to repeat the process with).
  4. Sick of being lonely: Man is not an island; it’s not good for man to be alone. Everybody needs somebody sometimes. Fighting loneliness can be a long, hard war. You may win a few battles, but after a while, loneliness can get the upper hand. It’s at these times when we will spin a relationship out of a few good dates because we are tired of doing things alone. We want to have a consistent plus one. We want to do couple things like go to the movies or out to eat. We don’t want to sit at another table set for two by ourselves reading another book and pretending to be engaged in brokering world peace on our cellphones. We are tired of leaving movie theater’s with half a bag of popcorn. We are tired of being paired up with so and so’s cousin or sat next to the weird groping uncle while celebrating weddings and babies with your lucky friends. I exhort you to get a hobby, not any man that comes along. Ugh.
  5. The Jones’: Whether it’s because of their family lineage, their inheritance, their self-made millionaire status, their good looks, their fancy material possessions, or their intellectual prowess, you want to be on their arm. Oh, you don’t really like them, but you love what they could provide to you. Perhaps you want to be able to live in comfort through no effort of your own, or you want to raise your visibility. Maybe you want people to covet what you have. Either way, you are willing to take abuse, battle through a lack of attraction, and overlook the fact you have nothing in common and don’t want the same things to get the lifestyle you think you deserve. It’s not about the man or woman at all, but what being with them does for you.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being in a weigh station relationship. Sometimes a weigh station relationship isn’t so scandalous or pitiable as the examples above. Sometimes it’s just two people who agree to hang out together until something better comes along. The point is that both people should know what it is. No one should be blindsided. We aren’t talking about a few dates or hookups, but relationships. Relationships require time and commitment, no matter what your ulterior motives are. Everyone has a right to know what sort of  return to expect on their investment. That’s my two cents anyway.

What do you think about weigh station relationships? Can you identify any that I’ve missed? Want to vent about past experiences with them? Are you a trucker and want to tell me I have no idea what I’m talking about and have misrepresented the purpose of a weigh station? Feel free to leave your two cents in the comments section, or email me at 2blu2btru4u[at]gmail[dot]com.