Of Awkward Ex Encounters

Ex Couple

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Okay, so we all have ex’s. Or at least, most of us do.

  • With some, the relationship ended amicably and you remain close buds.
  • With others, the end was so dramatic that seeing their face still brings extreme sadness to your soul.
  • With a select few, there’s no emotional pull at all. Being around them is akin to standing in a room of strangers. Just this stranger, you happen to have been intimate with momentarily.
  • With most, one of you is more hurt than the other, more attached, more likely to sit there and pine over the thought of, “What if?” A very dangerous question, mind you.

Everyone has ex stories, and I would love to hear all of them. Seriously, post them in the comment section, I will read each and every tale of lost love. I don’t care if you wish to share a story from when you were together or after you parted – I just love a good story, Hell, I even love a bad story on occasion.

Here, I’ll go first:

Recently the only man I’ve ever dated contacted me. And I think it’s important to clarify that we broke up over two years ago. That we were not a happy couple. Also, that I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation.

Anyways …

The situation was the sort of predicament that everyone wants to avoid – a former lover declaring that they miss them and want them back. And then, to inform you that they can’t afford to eat because they call out of work in efforts to avoid you.

Seriously? Don’t blame me for your hunger. 

Little is more uncomfortable than having someone you’d rather not talk with, cry about you over the phone.

But I was very polite, making grand statements like, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do to make you feel better.”

Then I got a handful of text messages. Granted it’s not seventy messages in two days like a different situation of mine (but that’s a whole different story – if you want to hear it, please let me know).

The first basically said, “What if I stop picking my fingernails?” – Huh? I don’t remember that being a problem.

The second asked me to think about what I’d done. Said, “It was nice to hear your voice the way that I remember it,” and urged me to take a couple of days to get back to him with why we can’t be together – Yeah, I’m not gonna do that. I think it’s VERY VERY obvious why I don’t want to date you again.

And the last accused me of rudely texting him in Spanish – I don’t even know Spanish. 

So there’s my most recent story. While my current dating life is quite stale, so much so that it’s borderline pathetic. It seems my past wanted to stir up the unwanted drama in my life.

Which is just … annoying.

Okay, now would you be so kind as to tell me a story?

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Of Parting Ways

At the street fair

What’s the best part about the street fair? Eating curly fries of course. Mmmmm!

When we were nine we argued about the color of a beaded bracelet. I was convinced that it was green, you were convinced that it was yellow (in reality it was probably lime-green). We sat on my parents red comforter and bickered for at least three hours. If I recall the conversation went something like this:

Me: It’s green

You: It’s yellow

Me: It’s green!

You: It’s yellow!

Me: IT’S GREEN!

You: IT’S YELLOW!

Me: You’re stupid. Go home!

You: Ugh, you’re stupid. Fine, I’ll go home!

Then you walked home, and we didn’t talk for at least a week.

Fifteen years have passed since that heated argument. And by the way, I’ll always be convinced that you were wrong. It was green, just accept it and move on.

At the risk of sounding like a mushy-emotional-nostalgic-sap, it’s amazing how far we’ve come since we met in third grade:

  • We went through puberty side-by-side
  • I forced you to go to Homecoming with your future boyfriend of six years
  • You made me a rainbow friendship bracelet
  • We hated each other on vacations (but we’d make up within a week afterwords)
  • We’ve risked death climbing rocks at the beach
  • Hiked in the worst footwear possible
  • Went cliff jumping
  • Stole each others slang/fashion
  • Kicked the ass of Harvest Moon
  • Drove while crying/dancing/talking for hours
  • In short – we’re awesome

Tomorrow morning you’ll drive to the east, in pursuit of your PhD in physics. It’ll be at least a year before we spend hours talking about everything and nothing. Till you barge into my parents house and eat all the good food in the fridge. Till we get bored with the normal trail and end up hiking through the bushes. Till when driving we vow to only take the off roads and end up in uncharted territory.

In the mean time I’ll stay here, and you’ll be hanging with the nerds at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, on Iowa Street. Gosh, they sure do like to remind you what state you’ll be in don’t they?

I love you Sister, good luck in Iowa. I’ll be sure to send you the most random and epic care package ever.

Of the Prince Charming Epidemic

James Marsden in Enchanted

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Lyric’s come into being because someone felt, remembered, or dreamt something. As I’ve gotten older it these songs start to bare weight. I’m not saying that they make me nostalgic or that they remind me of better days. None of that sappiness. What’s irritating me is that I have one, count it one, person to link all the love songs to. Well, I dated a little in high school. But those relationships were far from meaningful. I don’t count those.

So … yeah … one.

By no means does this thought make me want him back and by no means do these memories make me sad. What it does is make me want a new, um … “special someone”… so to speak.

I’m officially over the single thing. Problem is – I’m a bad dater. I don’t notice when men flirt with me (unless they set off my creeper radar). My friends (and mom) tell me, “he was totally hitting on you” and I reply, “I had no idea.” I’m terrible at letting my feeling be known, even to myself. I lie to my brain thinking “Nooooo not him, I don’t like him.” Of course once it’s past the point of opportunity that’s when I realize “Huh, yep definitely liked him. Damn.” Then there’s my extreme independence. I do like being on my own. I’ve never been boy crazy – still not boy crazy (I don’t understand hyperventilating because a semi-attractive human being with a penis walked in the room). And regardless of horniness, I respect myself to much to sleep with a stranger or someone I am not interested in dating. That behavior just doesn’t mesh with my personality. If I were to suddenly be boy crazy and started sleeping around. My friends would worry. Though if that’s you’re personality power to ya, as long as your safe (condoms and such).

Thus I don’t actively pursue romance. Rather I wait and hope it comes floating by, glittering in the sky. And I’ll see the something shiny (all girls love shiny things) and grab it.

When I was younger my list of things required for a potential mate was crazy long. The shallowness of a Christian youth. Now that I’m older and “he has to love Jesus” isn’t on my list I really only care about four things: handsome, taller than me, funny, and willing to go Blues and Swing Dancing with me. End of list. I don’t think it’s impossible. I’ve met versions of him. Of course, he’s always taken but it does provide hope for us ladies. Settling is never an option.

Purpose of this rant: I’d like to have more than one human being to link songs to. I’d also like to stop day dreaming about the impossible.

Face it ladies. Prince Charming doesn’t exist. Fuck you Disney!

Things don’t turn out like romantic comedies.

And I have no idea why so many of you love Pride and Prejudice, personally I can’t finish the book (I’ve tried three times, never got past page 50). But I did watch the four-hour movie with Colin Firth and frankly Mr. Darcy doesn’t exist either. Why would you want him to? I’m sick of this “he’s so romantic and such a gentlemen” bullshit. Okay let us review: he thought he was better than the Bennet’s, he was cold and rude, convinced his friend to dump Elizabeth’s sister, made a rash proposal insulting Elizabeth in the process, but girls love him … I guess because he paid their families way out of ruin? I don’t know. P&P fans out there feel free to defend your precious Jane Austen. Just know that I will never agree with you. One of my dearest friend’s has a Jane Austen action figure complete with desk and quill – even she has never convinced me that Jane Austen is amazing.

Yep, definitely ready for a new romantic phase in my life. Not Prince Charming. Not necessarily Mr. Right.

Just Mr. Right Now.

Of Friends With Benefits

No Strings Attached, Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher

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Not long ago I wrote about being friends with ex’s, I reached no particular conclusion. Other than that there is no clear answer. In regards to being friends there isn’t an obvious yes or no. It’s a gray area. Couple by couple basis.

However I would argue that friends with benefits cannot exist.

Former couples and individuals who are attracted to each other can be friends.

And a strictly benefits relationship can be set up, though it is bound to be fruitless and disappointing if you’ve ever experience sex in a love relationship.

But friends with benefits is a guaranteed fail. Emotions, even if slight, are involved. Traditionally the argument is that someone is bound to get hurt. Meaning that one person will want more than the other. While yes this is probably true, in my experience that wasn’t what caused the hurt.

Recently my friends with benefits relationship with my ex came to a crashing halt. Not because he or I was wanting our relationship back. More because of the imbalance we were feeling. There was an emphasis on benefits over friends in our situation which made sex essentially a hit-and-run. And that recurring bang-and-be-gone, is what made both of us feel dirty. Last night, yes Valentine’s day, after cashing in on the benefits we discussed this issue. This led to an heavy but not heated conversation. Just being friend’s is tricky, we have to switch our routine out of the rut we were in an a couple. Because as a couple we weren’t good for each other and arranging benefits was simply our way of subconsciously clinging onto the past. Though he admitted for him it was conscious.

I feel good about the decision we made to stop the benefits. I also don’t feel bad that we continued our sexual relations after we broke up. We joked that we had break-up sex five times. It was part of our transition process, and I think we’re both in a better place now.

Of White Lingerie

Victoria Secret model in white lingerie

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The simple assortment of white silk and lace sat as a reminder in my drawer. This pair was his favorite, he loved these leggings – most were bought why? Because he loved a woman in white.

As a young teenager white bras and underwear were unappealing. They cried out I obviously don’t have sex, a phrase which could translate to, I’m ugly, shy, and dull. For no man would like a girl who wears simple undergarments, right? Men like red and black, for those colors are bold, fierce, uninhibited, sexy, everything a young teenager dreams of being – even the church girls.

As I got older I started to care about what was under my clothes. I realized that if I thought I looked good practically naked, even if no one saw me, then I was more confident. Shortly after that revelation I became obsessed with buying lingerie. It started off slow, a pair of panties here, bra there, cute socks anytime. Then I started dating my first big love. And within months my delicates drawer was a shrine to Victoria’s Secret.

I fell in love with the soft silk, the lace, the satisfaction of a matching top and bottom. I fell in love with the sexiness, the feeling of being wanted, the passion. I fell in love with a man and the more he loved me back, the more beauty I saw in myself.

He fell too far – he fell out of love. In truth I saw the end but I couldn’t make myself let go. He did it for me. It hurt, I felt like my heart was torn out and splattered against the wall. I didn’t feel alive. In the shower my tears fused with the water – I let the water run cold. I ate just enough to remain hungry. I lost 7 pounds in a week. Friends told me to never see him again, that if I did I would never move on. I knew that we still had a future, but not as lovers. On the night it ended we agreed that our lives weren’t ready to part completely. After that night we chatted occasionally, our continued friendship evident to both of us. However, it was and is too soon. My emotions aren’t ready to spend extended periods of time in his presence. My heart’s too bruised. Eventually the wound will heal – but not quite yet.

And now the white lingerie reflects the memories of the love crushed beneath my feet. Laughter, tears, bitterness, and joy all sewn into the hem. It was beautiful, but now it’s over and I’m left wondering why I did the things I did, said the things I said, and bought the things I bought. How much was for him? How much was for me?

How would things be different if I’d never seen him? If I’d never decorated myself with white lingerie?