I spoke to a guy I used to be close to last week. It was a phone call precipitated by a text exchange precipitated by a text—mine (of course!) I’d contacted him the night before. Humbling myself, swallowing my pride, burying my self-esteem (Do feel free to insert other descriptions—if you’ve done it, you know them!), I asked him if he would drop by. Naturally I couched the request beneath reasons (pretty valid ones, I thought). I explained I was overwhelmed with family and financial issues, a looming deadline and a loved one’s serious hospitalization. Just needing an escape and a moment unfocused on problems and worry, I eventually cut to the chase and got to my point. (If you’ve done it, you know what’s coming next.)
I admitted I was horny. (Gasp!)
Yes. It was a mistake. It was a humiliating admission—and request. A move taken right out the Breakup for Dummies not to do chapter! But wait! It gets better! You see . . . we’d not seen one another in 4 months. I truly thought I was pretty much over him. In fact, I thought I pretty much hated him. I thought he’d stayed on my mind (and in my phone) only because he owes money. After all, how could I delete his number and forget him completely when that financial detail stands unresolved?
So what happened? Why did I text that night?
At the time, I convinced myself it was physical. Or just a moment of foolish weakness. (Sometimes when we are down, we reach back.) But was it? As it turned out, it didn’t matter. He never responded. (Big surprise!) So the next morning I did. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t a friendly text—or a short one. In short, I demanded he start to pay me back. I know many of you reading this will now be shaking your heads. “Count your blessings!” “Call it a loss and move on.” “You’re better off.” “You deserve better. And you’ll find better when you believe you deserve better.” Ladies, believe me. I KNOW!!! There isn’t anything any of you can tell me that I haven’t told myself.
Unfortunately, the answer to “How can a supposedly intelligent woman be so f**king STUPID?!?” has an indisputable explanation: Emotion doesn’t play by rules—nor by “not to do” guidelines. Moreover, for some of us (and you know who you are) moving forward after an ended relationship is like playing a board game: ala Roll the dice, get a three, move forward three spaces. Roll a six—whoo-hoo—move six! Occasionally, however, we players of this Getting Over a Relationship game can (and usually will) land on spaces that send us backwards. Most of these spaces are labeled “MEMORIES.” But there’s also the damn ones that can send the player back nearly to the effing beginning! These spaces are typically labeled “GIVE IT ANOTHER CHANCE” “FORGIVE HIM” and “UH-OH! YOU GOT HORNY AND TEXTED HIM.” (BTW, in this twisted version of Candy Land for adults, there is no egg timer to flip over to determine the allowable time frame. There are, however, cards you will be left holding if you don’t use or discard them in time.) So back to my round of Getting Over a Relationship/Candy Land last week . . .
There was no immediate answer to my “not short” text. When one arrived hours later, I wasn’t prepared. His first words were he was sorry for what was going on with me and my family. He said he wasn’t being rude in not responding sooner. He’d been off work with a serious injury and was on pain meds. Therefore he was “just waking up and only now getting all this.” All I could type was “oh.” (As in uh-oh. Trust me. What I’d unloaded in a spate of hurt, anger and a whole lot of other emotions had been a hell of a lot to “get” in one text!) I said I was sorry he was hurt. (And I was.) He answered he’d live. And again he wrote he was sorry I was going through what I was. We both had a lot going on, he said.
If you have played GOR/CL, you will relate to my next move. I deliberated first, of course. Then I played one of my PHONE CALL cards. He answered. (I was honestly surprised he did.) I offered an apology for the text. He said it was ok. He said he “got it” that I was “venting.”
“I just always assume the worst,” I said.
“I know you do.” He laughed. “When I see a text from you with all those words . . . I know. You’re venting. A lot has happened all at once. It’s ok. It’s allowed. You’re allowed.”
“I just hate the loss of control,” I said.
He laughed quietly. “I know you do.”
And there it was . . . in his voice . . . what I’d not heard in nearly 5 months: Warmth, wrapped in the intimacy that had once existed between us. Damn! Yes, he knows me. Better than any man I have ever known, in fact. We spoke for over 20 minutes, as friends. And as we talked about everything that was going on with each of us, I realized how much I miss the friend—not the lover. (Yes, color me surprised at that one!) It was the WORST thing he could have done to me—be the friend I’d once had.
After we hung up, I picked it apart. (Of course, I did!) And I also assumed the worst. (Of course, I did!) First off, he was on pain killers, I reminded myself. And second, by his being “nice,” I didn’t bring up the money. Cynical bitch that I am—I figured (Of course, I did!) he did it on purpose. After all . . . he KNOWS me! But whether his move was deliberate or not, is of no import to the point of this post. What matters is that I landed on one of those freakin’ spaces you sometimes can’t avoid when you play GOR/Candy Land. Yep. Whatever progress I was making in moving forward just got reversed. Like it or not (and I don’t!) I’ve been moved back twelve spaces! Not quite back to the beginning . . . but pretty f**king close. Damn!
My optimistic and romantic-at-heart girlfriend is convinced it’s not over between us. I’m just as convinced she’s wrong. He doesn’t “need time to figure it out,” because there is no “it” to figure out. He doesn’t do relationships. Period. We both agreed to the rules upfront. But then we both broke them. And so when it began to appear that was exactly where our pieces were likely headed, he played his “GAME OVER” card. He swept Lord Licorice and Queen Frostine back into the box and folded up the board.
And so I’m left still holding a bunch of cards I thought I had discarded in time . . . FUN, ADVENTURE, TRAVEL, SEX, CONVERSATION and FRIENDSHIP. Damn! Who would have thought the last two would be the ones with the highest value?