breakups


fool: a person who keeps doing the same thing and expects different results. ~Albert Einstein

After 6 months of being engaged, of trying to convince myself that the wedding was the thing I was getting stuck up on and not the act of marrying Dexter, I finally started getting honest with myself. I wrote in my journal:

“The truth speaks to us in whispers.”

My follow-up to that statement is ignore it long enough and it will hit you like a motherfucking train. So I came home one day after work, told Dexter about Billy, explained that I needed some time and space to get perspective on things and in order to do that, I needed to move out. Just for a month.

Then I gave back the ring. I told Dexter to hold onto it and we would re-evaluate the engagement after my sabbatical. Dexter was understanding. He was astute enough to know that I needed to do this, for the sake of our relationship, so he supported it.

The next step was telling my family and friends. The only problem was it was the day before one of my best friend’s wedding, which was a 3-day affair, out of town. I went to the wedding alone, but in order to avoid detracting from the event, I wore my ring and told people Dexter couldn’t make it due to work obligations.

The morning of the wedding, I called my mom and like all moms, she immediately knew something was up. So I told her Dexter and I were taking a little break.

“So you’re breaking up.”

“No, I just said we’re taking ‘a break.’ It’s not permanent.

“Okay, but let me just remind you, it can get lonely being single and you’re not getting any younger.”

In retrospect, the episode makes me laugh, mainly because I had expected unconditional support from my mother when I called her up. I should have known better. I curtly thanked her for the chat and told her I had to go. Then I hung up the phone and started bawling. After a good 5 minutes, I pulled it together and went back to my hotel room. I put on my running clothes and got “lost” on a farm road in the middle of nowhere. I kept asking myself the same thing: am I crazy? Am I doing the right thing? Or am I just being a fool?

I didn’t come to any conclusions. But I did feel better.

I was fortunate enough that my best friend from college was also at the wedding. And she was gracious enough to allow me to stay with her and her husband for that evening, without asking any questions. The last thing I wanted to do was be alone in a hotel room at friend’s wedding. If I can say anything about my friends, it’s that in such moments, they know how to circle the wagons. I went to the room, got dressed, and made my merry way to the wedding’s kickoff cocktail hour.

I’ve always had a blasé toleration of weddings. Since I’ve never dreamed of one for myself, am not a conservatively religious being, and I am too pragmatic for all the pomp and circumstance they assume, what they really offer me is the opportunity to socialize and drink. So that’s what I did.

The pendulum swung from me bawling in the business center of the hotel to me floating around this Gatsby-like affair with an incredible lightness of being. The bars had been lifted. I was in love with life.

Now technically, even though I was wearing an engagement ring, I was free to conduct myself however I saw fit. I didn’t give much thought to the fact that no one at the wedding knew of my current status with Dexter.

With my mother’s “expiring milk carton” comment fresh in my mind, I became immediately fixated on the topic of discussion amongst all the ladies (married and single alike) at the wedding. The hot orthopedic surgeon. Within five minutes of starting a conversation with him, I had him crouched down before me, examining my ankle and calf.

While I am marginally attractive, there were certainly more beautiful women at the wedding than me. I did, however, have the advantage of a significantly-sized engagement ring, which the hot doctor said he didn’t notice until much later in the evening. By the end of the evening, we were making out against his car in the parking lot of the hotel. And in my mind, I was explicitly holding up my middle finger and directing it at my mother.

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rabbit hole: an absurd and improbable world inhabited by many strange characters

I started this blog with this post in mind: to expose myself to the point that my past actions no longer have power over me. It has taken me almost 2 months to build up to this.

The day I received the letter from my agent rejecting my manuscript, I took action. I needed to get drunk and fuck – there’s nothing like a little, or a lot, of alcohol and sex to make a person forget his or her troubles. So I called Dexter, D,up. It was a Thursday, and it was a week after I attempted to set him up with my best friend which I subsequently sabotaged.

Whenever I’ve decided to have sex, I’ve had sex. And I like sex a lot. But because of this, I am meticulous and methodical in choosing my partners (I will never sleep with a guy who verbally states he is great in bed. Like class, if you have to say you have it, you automatically do not). Bad sex is not better than no sex. Bad sex is bad sex, and I’ve discovered certain indicators of how a man will perform in bed. As an athlete and one who is friends with several talented athletes, I understand the refusal to play beneath a certain level of skill. It’s simply not fun and it actually brings down one’s own game and enjoyment of the sport.

“Meet me at the Grill at 9.”

“I have a softball game in the city. I won’t be able to make it until 1030.”

“I’ll be gone by then. You really don’t want to miss me.”

“I should be able to get there before 10.”

Dexter showed up around 945. I was annoyed that I had to wait but I was determined. For all our months of flirting, for every moment we had shared intimate details about each other, all I cared about was having sex. I was already drunk by the time he arrived. And I was sitting on a stool when he walked up. We made smalltalk for a few minutes until I revealed a pivotal piece of information.

“I’m not wearing any underwear.”

I was wearing a skirt. I wasn’t messing around; I had my agenda. He dipped his head down so he could get a glance. For a minute he was dead silent. For a moment I thought I had completely turned him off with my bawdiness. Silly me. He asked if I wanted another drink. I said yes, so we went to the bar and while we were waiting, he asked if he could kiss me. I said okay. Ten minutes later, we had finished our drinks. He asked if I wanted to leave.

“Yes. But we need to go to your place.”

Why? Because my ex-boyfriend, with whom I had broken up with a week earlier, was still living in my apartment.

The details of the night aren’t important. What is important is the next morning, he called me a cab and escorted me into it, slipping the driver a $20 and telling me he’d call me a few hours from the airport, which he did. I remember this part clearly, because this is what a man who knows how to take care of a woman and knows how to take charge does. The day before, his divorce had been finalized and he was flying back west to pack up his house and move everything into storage.

That weekend my ex made a last ditch effort to get me back. He had booked a hotel room in the city and made dinner reservations and was so emphatic about the whole thing, calling it “our goodbye” that I agreed. But I had already moved on and I was just going through the motions of even caring.

When Dexter returned on Monday, “we” began. We had our first date, which lasted for hours and for the life of me, I cannot remember what we talked about but we talked for hours. We spent every evening of the week together. A week later, I told him I thought I wanted to marry him – the girl who got panic attacks at bridal showers and looked forward to weddings solely for the open bar. He said he felt the same. He gave me the keys to his apartment.

Everything moved very quickly and we both dove head first into the relationship. Looking back, my relationship with Dexter was a formula for disaster. I hated my job at the time, I was dealing with the setback of rejection from my book, and I hadn’t mourned the loss of my previous relationship with S, who was one of my best friends for 5 years. It probably didn’t help that Dexter was coming out of a very difficult period time in his life, but I cannot make any assumptions on his behalf.

To be continued…

soft landing: the act of avoiding breakup postmortem by seeking out another relationship prior to the termination of the known-to-be-doomed relationship

The soft landing is a mirage, one of those seemingly good solutions to an unpleasant experience that inevitably comes to bite the enactor in the ass. After attempting the soft landing myself and crashing with a cacaphonic thud, I now watch those who attempt it with the same silent pity as I do whenever I see a Jackass stunt performed.

My soft landing was a result of entering a relationship with my best guy friend (BGF). I knew it was destined for failure and yet I proceeded anyway: my BGF was unrelenting, the sex was amazing, and I loved him, in a best guy friend kind of way. Approximately (8) months passed between the time I started to contemplate a breakup and the day I ended things, which coincidentally was (2) days before I hooked up with the man I had spent the last (4) months flirting with at work.

My soft landing turned into a 3-year relationship that ended with several betrayals of trust (on both sides), a never-to-be-used prenup and a returned engagement ring amounting to the equivalent of a sizable down payment on a house, and me learning that the “easy way out” is never easy.

So two reasons to avoid the soft landing?

1) It’s not fair to the other person. Don’t drag him or her along while you search for the bigger and better deal in order to circumvent being alone or to continue the benefits you reap by staying in the relationship.

2) 9 times out of 10, people will soft land into a relationship that is a reaction to its predecessor. This is due to a lack of perspective and clarity, which only comes from having some time on your own to contemplate what you really want.

Bottom line, you want a soft landing? You’re better off playing seesaw with a bull.