Whenever I encounter new people with whom I’m expected to socialize over a certain period of time, I ask myself a few questions:
a) is this person forgettable (as in there’s nothing to hold my attention)?
b) is this someone I can see in my own group of friends or wider social net?
c) how much longer before this event is over?
I know I come off as arrogant, and sometimes belligerent, to strangers and people unaccustomed to “my type” (whatever that means) and I hold that as a testament to being relaxed enough in whatever social environment as to let down my guard. Whenever I am confronted by someone’s assessment of me and who I am, I am most amused by the ones who do it within hours of meeting me, as are my close friends who may have been in that same position a few years before, and sorely bored by the ones jumping the gun/know-it-all’s. Yes, I have made sport of these people in the past, not the same exact people, like a cat with a mouse if for no other than the reason that I’ve found they’re the ones incapable of change without a life-changing catalyst and I hope to be surprised with a person’s ability to adapt. I don’t mean that to be read as a desire for constant and mercurial change – the few years of experience with a college ex taught me the extent to which I can bear a roller coaster ride of up and down, manic and depressed episodes. Fun should come in short, titillating spurts 😉 not an endurance race that wears and tears.
Anyway, at a bbq today, I was approached by a guy who was sent by a friend there to offer “condolences” about my recent break up. To put him on even ground, I told him he was mis-informed (the breakup was over a month ago but I can’t stand people who act like they know more about my business than me) with my famous chilly attitude and he stumbles, expectantly, but recovers with, “Did he run because your feline walk made him realize he was the snack and not the main course?” Awkward wording but quick enough response time to excuse it – a clever way to show he’d noticed me walking in (I was standing in place and at these backyard things, it’s not like there’s a lot of space for movement other than a couple of feet or so at a time). Drawing a grin on my face, “How do you know he didn’t run but simply walked away? Or that being with him alone was satiating for nearly 6 years?”
“I don’t, except you don’t strike me as someone who’d commit that long to someone foolish enough to leave you.”
“Maybe he was actually more intelligent, less fool to end the relationship.”
“You don’t actually believe that, do you?”
“I believe he never truly wanted to marry me and however that manifested itself, the result was the same: break up.”
“How do you know it wasn’t simply the fact he had another piece on the side?”
“Because if there was only one thing I knew for sure, it was knowing his sense of honor and his strong grasp on it. He’s not your typical guy (a dog) and that was magnetic to me.”
“You sound like you still care about him -”
“I do -”
“And you’d willingly get back together?”
“You know that quote about loving someone and letting them go and if they return -”
“Yeah, sure, who hasn’t? But I never thought it was right to make a person wait and only selfish people expect that from someone else.”
“Me, either – ”
“That brings you back to the same question.”
“It’s pride that would make me reject him, at first, but it’s also pride that leads to disaster: it blocks/breaks down communication and leaves someone thin skinned until both parties are flinging hurt for hurt’s sake. It takes two to tango. So, don’t try to read that as everything was his fault because the social narrative says men are assholes for hurting women. No one was filling the parts of victim and perpetrator.”
“Most people I know say the best way to get over a relationship is a rebound because it puts things in perspective knowing there are still other people to be discovered.”
“It’s also a really ugly, childish and messy approach. It’s really cruel to the other person, ‘rebound,’ to be used like that. No, thank you.”
“No strings attached sex is a great way to not think about your ex while also relieving sexual tension…”
“It’s also a great way for STD’s to be contracted.”
“If you won’t, I have a winning wager thousands of dollars that he already has and a couple times over, too. Why wait for someone who broke your heart and hasn’t shown signs of coming back or even undoing your hurt? Don’t wait until you’re too old for marriage and children -”
“You’re making a lot of assumptions about someone you’ve never met or known and a relationship you weren’t privy to. This is what I mean when I say the average male – someone willing to start scandal and certainly not above trying to advantage of a woman still stinging from a break-up: someone like you. Don’t you feel like a douchebag maneuvering someone needing physical reassurance into bed? Isn’t it too easy?”
“Oh, but you would seriously take someone back who slept with others, essentially cheating on you?! Don’t you feel used by your ex and played like a pawn? Why do girls always fall for the wrong guy? If I’m a douchebag, then he’s a scumbag for messing with your heart and mind -”
“I’m pretty sure you can only cheat on someone if you’re in a relationship to begin with. That being said, No, I wouldn’t and he’s entitled to live his life as he will but it would always be in the back of my mind if we got back together. If I can’t trust someone completely in the sex department, I won’t/shouldn’t be with them.”
With that, I walked away from him, but how far away can a person at a bbq get without leaving all together. He followed me around like a city pigeon, relentless and needing an aggressive expression to go away (sometimes those damn birds won’t budge even after shoo-ing with sudden charging movements). It was a horrible combination of passive-aggressive “questions” and awkward come-on’s: wanting to cut me down just enough to make me sleep with him or even like him. A PUA technique and that sums up everything necessary to know. Oh, it was definitely amateur hour at desperately horny and inexperienced coupled with low self esteem. I debated whether or not to be my cutthroat self verses pitying the idiot. Ha, there was nothing to debate! I demanded to know who at the bbq owned the piddling mutt pup and announced he needed to be leashed to avoid dire consequences. Good thing my friends know the warning signs of a tempest brewing and desiring to be unleashed 😉
I left not too soon after: the fun was done and too soon. Like losing Stitch, I have moments where I’m suddenly overwhelmed with the knowledge that Beck’s no longer mine. It catches me off guard and I don’t know what’s worse: having to cope with permanent loss (Beck may be alive but I take him at his word that I’ll never hear from him again so it’s truly all the same as losing my best friend) on my own or learning, struggling really, to forget. Trying to lose a tangible line to a heart not my own. It hurts the same way living tissue does when it’s injured. I dream of him and I wake feeling intense love, only to have to rock and comfort myself to keep from screaming out the heartache. If my soulmate is gone, does that mean my soul, too?
Lyrics (from OST on Broadway): When I look at you
When I look at you, what I always see
Is the face of someone else who once belonged to me
Still I can hear him laugh
And even though that melody plays on, he’s gone
When I look at you, he is standing there
I can almost breathe him in like summer in the air
Why do you smile his smile?
That heaven I’d forgotten eases through, in you
If you could look at me once more
With all the love you felt before
If you and I could disappear into the past
And find that love we knew
I’d never take my eyes away from you
When I look at you, he is touching me
I would reach for him, but who can hold a memory?
And love isn’t everything
That moonlight on the bed will melt away, someday
Oh, you were once that someone
Who I followed like a star
Then suddenly you changed,
And now I don’t know who you are
Or could it be that I never really knew you from the start?
Did I create a dream?
Was he a fantasy?
Even a memory is paradise for all the fools like me
Now, remembering is all that I can do
Because I miss him so, when I look at you