I had a really fun weekend and started writing about it Sunday night. It was one weekend, three days, five guys. That’s the title of my post. Get your mind out of the gutter, I didn’t have sex with five guys, but my time over the weekend was spent with five different guys and it was all good.
One of the guys I had occasion to spend time with was none other than “B.” yep, really. In the course of writing about the weekend I talked about running into him and subsequently spending a couple of hours over coffee catching up with him. There wasn’t much to it.
He pulled up next to me on the freeway Saturday afternoon, honked, and I was shocked when I saw him. Shocked because for three or four months I fretted about eventually running into him, it was inevitable. We live in side by side suburbs, both frequent Whole Foods and quite a few other spots. Yes, I am incredibly good at driving through Whole Foods parking lot to make sure he isn’t there but eventually I knew it was bound to happen.
When I thought about it (running into him) I hoped I would look amazing and not look unhappy. I don’t generally look unhappy, but I was worried seeing him after so much time would make me look unhappy. Especially if he was with another woman.
So he pulls up next to me, honks, waves, smiles. I wave and catch my breath. I actually think me catching my breath was visible, but I’m hopeful, since we were driving on I-5, that he didn’t notice that. It took a minute but I noticed his window was down so I rolled my passenger window down. I said “where ya going?” and he shrugged and then pointed to the next exit with a question in his eye. I shook my head yes and proceeded to follow him off the freeway. I instantly forgot that before he pulled up next to me I was in the middle of texting the guy I was going to the movies with in a few hours (no, I was not texting with my hands, I was driving on the freeway, I was using the awesome voice text thing).
“B” pulled into the first lot he came to and we got out and hugged each other. It was really nice to see him. We attempted to catch up in 5 minutes because it was cold, but then he asked me about Hawaii. I started to tell him and then I asked him if he had time to get a cup of coffee so we could get out of the cold. He said yes, so we did.
I was a big ball of emotion, but mostly I was one big fat grin. I was genuinely happy to get to sit and talk to him. It helped that while I wouldn’t say I looked “amazing” I did look good. It also helped that I felt good. I had just spent the previous night with my sweet, cute, young FWB telling me how awesome and wonderful he thought I was.
Two hours of conversation and it was great. What was best was that while I was telling him how good I was, how happy and content and incredibly grateful for my life I am right now, I realized how incredibly TRUE it was. How it was all true and had nothing to do with him. Turning point.
He walked me to my car, hugged me, kissed me, called me “sweet woman” and told me he loved me as he looked at me the way he had for two and a half years. A month ago, two months ago, certainly three months ago I would have cried, blubbered something stupid about missing him and would have felt stupider when he gave me his speech about “us” just not being doable. But Saturday I just smiled, hugged him back told him to say hello to his daughter, asked him to let me know when his granddaughter was born and got in my car and drove home. Happy.
That was just a blip in my weekend and in my original post about the weekend (that I will finish soon) I just gave it a blips bit of space. I meant to finish my weekend post on Monday evening, but by Monday evening I couldn’t. I was preoccupied and feeling out of control. I felt vulnerable and as if I was coming unglued and it was ugly. Crying, snot, runny mascara. Ugly.
Monday morning around 10 a.m. “B” called me. It had been so long since he had called me at work (when I was there to pick up) that the number that flashed on the caller I.D. was unfamiliar so I was caught off guard. I laughed when I heard his voice, not because it was funny. It was more a nervous laughter. He said something about how great it had been to see me on Saturday and then asked if he could take me to lunch.
I barely hesitated before I said yes. It was disgusting, on reflection. He showed up at 11 and we walked to a cafe not far from my office. We held hands as we walked, like it was normal. It was weird, but I didn’t think about it then, I just did it with that stupid grin on my face. We sat, ate and talked for another almost two hours. Since we had gotten the catch up conversation out-of-the-way on Saturday, this conversation was more directional and he did the directing.
He asked me how the dating had been going and I told him about it. I told him I had dated some really nice guys and a couple jerks and that I had decided that I was done seeking out the elusive boyfriend and as such was refocusing my energy. I shared a couple of bad date experiences with him and told him about a few good ones. I chose not to tell him about the sex I was having because I didn’t want him to worry about my soul and I really didn’t want to see the look of disappointment on his face that I am sure it would bring. When I was done I said “your turn” and he said something like “well I really don’t think my dating experiences are relevant to the conversation” – here was my first twinge of irritation. I disagreed and waited. And then he launched into the reason he wanted to take me to lunch.
For six months (ahhh, yea, I wasn’t the only one counting) he had been trying desperately to replace me. He used the word “desperately” – and he had been unsuccessful. Lots of women trying to pick him up, lots of friends trying to set him up, he even dated one woman (who, he felt compelled to tell me, was 5′ tall and all of 90 pounds…. Why do men do that? I’m 5’8 and 130, why do I care what size his date was? Second twinge of irritation.) for six or seven weeks but it “just wasn’t there” for him.
He admitted it didn’t help that he thought about me all the time, talked about me a lot and just flat-out missed me. He said from the moment he left me on Saturday he had been racking his brain trying to figure out how “we” could make “us” work. He was still trying to figure it out, thought maybe I had some ideas. Hoped I did. I had no answers for him. Nothing had changed. He asked me to think on it, said “we” deserved the effort.
I was pretty speechless. Two months ago, maybe three months ago, definitely four months ago I would have said ANYTHING to get this man back. I was confused and frightened by my confusion.
I just said I didn’t want him back, that I couldn’t go back yet sitting across from him hearing him say everything I wanted to hear him say a few months ago was freaking me out and not in a good way. It short wired my thought process. It’s what I wanted, right? No. No? It was what I wanted, right? Maybe. It possibly was what I wanted because I didn’t know any better, right? Now I know better, or at the very least I know different, and I like it. Right? Hmmm, but he’s sad and lonely and loves me and wants me back. Right? That’s good? No. I hate him sad and lonely. If I say things will change or can change he’ll be happy and we’ll be together again and it will be great! Right? No. Yes. Maybe? Probably. What about “M” the sweet 36-year-old who likes me? I’d have to stop seeing him. What about my trip to Puerto Rico? I couldn’t go. It would be worth it, right? To make “B” happy? What about me? Shouldn’t I be happy? OMG am I implying that the man, the only man, who ever broke my heart would NOT make me happy? What does that say about me and those two and a half years we spent together. Shit. What the hell. I can’t work it through and make everyone happy. Someone will be sad and if it’s not me, will I be able to handle the burden of making him sad? For fucks sake, girl! Get it together.
Yea, that was some of what was rolling through my head Monday night. A lot of crying, stupid emotional ping-pong and pure head pounding madness.
I sent an email to a friend who has, from the beginning offered his ear. It was really late where he was but I asked if I could call him Tuesday morning. When I got up Tuesday he had emailed me back and said he would wait for my call. He also said something else. I hadn’t told him much in my email, just that my emotions were out of control and I felt vulnerable. He said “I hope you know that you’re incredible. Who you are and what you bring to the table is amazing so don’t allow anyone to discount you.” His words made me take a breath. The breath seemed to clear my head a bit.
When we talked, later that morning, he listened as he promised he would and then he helped me reach some clarity that I had tried to reach on my own. It wasn’t my problem or burden “B” had been unable to replace me. It wasn’t my job to fix it for him. There was a sense of manipulation in the exchange on Monday, even if it wasn’t intentional and I wavered under its force. I loved “B” and still do, but I will not put myself back into that relationship.
The truth is simple. I love “B,” but now, I love myself more.