First, one of my pieces, “Devil’s Advocate: Just Because I Divorced Him Doesn’t Mean He’s Not My Best Friend”, was published today at A Practical Wedding. I’m proud of this piece and as an update, after reading this, TEH said, “When you get married again, let me know so I can send you a gift.”
We may not get along romantically, and we’ve made those lines very clear recently, but I don’t know what I would do without him.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged when I start dragging out Elbow, some emotional shit has gone down. I’m not sure how much I’m going to reveal at this juncture (you can wipe your computer screen now), but it has hit me to the core. Just — when I’m now at my lowest point, things never do change, do they? I guess I can believe what I want, as it was reiterated to me, to make myself feel better but when the same thing said now as in the past to erase one’s own pain, well, despite all of my faults, you can’t argue the same thing was not done thrice.
Star Wars: VII trailer dropped yesterday and in honor of that, I wrote up my first experience with Star Wars:
“Ex-Fiance #1 and I met in 1994, I was working at a video store. He later told me he hemmed and hawed for months before asking me out, which lead to one of first dates watching Star Wars on laser disc because I was 22 and never saw the damned thing. Yes, the first time I saw SW, I was an old lady and it was on laser.
Over the years, we went from being together to not being together for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into now. As the relationship petered out, as they always do, we remained just plain old fuck buddies. Somewhere in between, he found a woman we referred to as Lisa-lite. She could have been my twin, the resemblance was that uncanny, down to some of her interests. I met her when my then boyfriend and I double dated with them. My then boyfriend looked liked Ex-Fiance #1. AWKWARD.
The midnight romance ends at some point and a few years go by. I’m working at a bookstore, putting myself through my first Master’s degree. Who but shows up one day is ex-Fiance #1 with a big smile on his face. He and Lisa-lite had gotten engaged and he tracked me down to tell me that. I was selfish sleeping with him for a very long time, but this was downright cruel. Almost unbearably so.
He then suggested since he bought her a black diamond engagement ring, I should buy matching earrings. He then left while I ran to the break room and cried for a solid half an hour.
Every time I hear the opening music to SW or read the opening scenes to episode IV, I start crying like a maniac. It’s slowed down considerably over the years, and I’m no longer (as much) of a crying mess. Whoever I’m going to see VII with, I come with tissues.”
Please watch your step, naval gazing ahead:
As I was writing this, it got me thinking about how I handled my romantic relationships of yore. First Miguel, who I had a thing on and off with for years, when beginning when I was 19 and he 20. He is living in Guam due to family business. He calls me one night, drunk, to tell me he has been fucking someone twice his age. To gain experience, he said. I was still the love of his life, he said. I went back and forth with him in-between other exes — always him telling me I was the one for him, me falling for it, and then him doing something awful. And as time went on, he stopped calling and I stopped having to defend my no’s. He contacted me in 2012 and again last year, which lead to an interesting conversation. (If he’s anything, he’s at least predictable. I’ll probably hear from him next year, as he will then be due to profess his love.)
Next Alan, who dumped me for another woman but kept coming back for more until that faithful night when I, at a bar, she and I got into a fist fight and I had to be dragged off and out by bouncers. He’s living somewhere in Detroit, married, has kids. He once got in touch with me back in the early naughts, about a decade after we had last spoken, to see how I was. “I think about you a lot,” he says. “I miss you,” he says. But then I never heard from him again. Of course.
Then Danny a few years later. We date for six months, I have a massive panic attack about being stuck in suburbia so I cut and run. I come back. I cut again. I come back. At some point we went down to just fuck buddies (see above) and he marries Lisa-lite.
TheExHusband. We date for 18 months. I run. He tracks me down nearly a decade later. We get married. He stops treating me like a wife and more like a roommate. I threaten divorce. Nothing happens. I leave him after nearly seven years. After the divorce, he’s been contrite as to why he was hurting me. We’re slowly building our friendship back together. We’re not dating, just very close friends.
I split up with TheExHusband.
TheBassist. Hoo boy. We date in 2005. He cuts and runs and goes back to his ex-wife. He contacts me six months later, they have separated again. He leaves me again. Flash forward to nearly a decade. He’s been leaving me love notes across the Internet during that entire time. Everyone in his circle knows about the Michigan Girl. Even his girlfriends know during that decade of silence. I am a force to be reckoned with, he says. No one has loved him like I loved him, he says. He was wrong, he says. He made a mistake, he says. I am the love of his life and if he can’t have me, he doesn’t want anyone else, he says.
“I know she doesn’t remember me, since it was about nine years ago now, but in Grand Rapids I made a very large mistake with someone else’s very important organ. I chose what was safe over what made me happy, and I proceeded to reprogram myself. Grand Rapids became my codeword for not choosing love over security, a monument to my own cowardice.”
My life is shit. I’m no mentally stable. I have no job. I’m essentially homeless. I never not believed in us, I just never believed in me. I cut and run. I come back. I cut and run. I come back. In between all of this, I run out of money. Then he cuts and runs with the same reasoning as 2005: He made a unilateral decision on what was best for me rather than letting me make that decision myself on what was best for me. (And trust me, I begged and pleaded for him to not do this again. “It’s like 2005 all over again,” I cried hysterically into the phone. “It is and it isn’t,” he says.)
“Are you going to love me always?” I ask later. “You’re a piece of my heart,” he responds.
(This time, unlike other times, all of this is verbatim from texts and comments spanning the Internet. Memories are rotten bastards but at least this time around I have primary sources to back me up.)
I’m as equal as anyone in what went down, but, when I’m at the lowest point of my life, to leave? Again? (To be brutally fair, despite my anger at him leaving, he couldn’t take the back and forth. “We’re always on pause,” he says. “I wait for you. It’s what I do,” he says. But it just hurts beyond human reasoning he leaves when I am at rock bottom. I am no angle in this world of ours, and I get that. But that doesn’t make it any less painful when he said goodbye on the phone.)
I’m a hot mess and also human. In the past I’ve bent the truth, I’ve blown things out of proportions, I’ve been a bitch. I’ve had my share of moments. Life is a fucking chaotic mess. Nothing is black and white. There are blurred lines everywhere. I’m constantly at war with my own self-esteem.
There is never someone who isn’t as in touch with their foils, foibles, and feelings like yours truly. Jesus fuck, I’ve been examining the human psyche via my own life for years.
It’s intoxicating being told you are the love of someone’s life and in the case of TheBassist, to reply that was true from me as well. But what does that mean in the long run? Do you cut your losses when shit hits the fan? Do you work through the shit? Why aren’t there any concrete answers?
I’m in love with love, and I freely admit it. Who doesn’t want that kind of intoxication? And I’m more in love with TheBassist than in love itself. Fucking bastard. He of the big words, lightening intelligence, and fabulous hair.
(I am not terribly surprised my comment from above, “I’m not sure how much I’m going to reveal at this juncture,” turned out not to be true.)
I want to take responsibility for my own actions. I want to see clear-eyed for the future to really think about what it means to be in love, whether TheBassist and I end up working shit out or not. Because if he asked me to, I would do it all over again.
I want to feel to be the center of someone’s world. I want them to be there when shit hits the fan and when I laugh as they drive around cloverleafs because that simple act makes me happy. I want my own life and be the part of someone’s life. And even when I am at my lowest, I won’t stop believing that such a love exists.
And if it’s not him, and someone else comes along (much) later on, I will still take that chance, foolish me, to give it 1000% and to love big. Love large. And when my heart gets broken, again, I’ll pick myself up and do it all over again.
Here are my mediations on love. Die trying.