TGIF, readers. In case you haven’t had you fill of hearing three rejected ladies share their self absorbed tales of woe, I have an update on my dumping saga. You know, the dumping that started a chain reaction that caused what will now be known as The Great Hat Trick of April ’14. Basically I’m the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of this blog, which makes D Gavrilo Princip (did you forget that Stucu is written by history nerds?) Where was I going with this? Oh yeah…
I saw my ex.
Uhhhh, actually… I saw him on purpose.
I know. I know. This sounds like the Worst with a capital W plan ever. But when D and I originally agreed to meet, I was actually feeling pretty good and like I was genuinely starting to move on. More importantly, I had this feeling that there was no way to know if our little friends experiment was feasible until we actually did something friend-like together.
So I met D for coffee two Sundays ago. I wasn’t really nervous before we met. Honestly, I was most worried about looking make-my-ex-regret-dumping-me-without-looking-like-I’m-actually-trying level amazing.
Other than that, I was pretty calm. I did have an irrational fear in the back of my head that D might tell me something crazy, like he was engaged, mostly I think because I saw that happen in a movie. And if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s taking movie plots way too seriously.
The day we met was a beautiful, sunny Sunday, and it was also the day of the Broad Street Run, a big annual race in Philly. I got ready, walked outside, and enjoyed the sunshine for approximately 2.5 seconds before the weather comically went south: I walked about a block and a half before the skies darkened and opened up with rain. I mean, speaking of scenes that play out like movies…
(That’s what I looked like in the rain, PS. Exactly that).
Unfortunately, like I mentioned, this didn’t end like the movies, with a found cat and an outdoor make out scene and a swelling rendition of Moon River.
In reality my hair became irrevocably frizzy and I had to run home to grab an umbrella and change. Cinema gold!
Between the race crowds, running home to change, and worrying that this was a bad omen from the universe, I had to rush to meet D. When I arrived, frazzled and damp, he was already there waiting for me. I can’t remember whether we hugged or just said hi, but it started out pretty well, all things considered. It was genuinely nice to see him, sit across from him, and catch up in person. ‘See?’ I thought smugly to myself. ‘I can do this. No sweat.’ We chatted and joked easily, talking about our families and friends and jobs, rolling our eyes at the droves of runners coming in post race.
The longer we sat there, though, the longer I sipped my iced coffee, the more effort it took to be normal. First I smelled D’s cologne. Yes, I realize that sounds incredibly creepy, but there you have it. I started to think about how we used to go to Sunday brunch after a night out and then spend the afternoon together. We’d hit up Reading Terminal or take a long walk and go back to one of our places, yadda yadda yadda and then take a nap. It was the best. I thought about how on this particular Sunday, we’d be walking away from each other instead, and I’d be alone.
That’s when a lump slowly started to lodge its way into my throat. Gradually I had to start focusing on acting normal and breathing normally and not bursting into tears. I know D could tell that something was up; I mean, I was literally chanting ‘keep it together’ inside my head; how could he not notice?
Things had gone so well, though, and I was determined to be brave and hold on until I could go cry like a normal rejected loser in the privacy of my own apartment.
SPOILER ALERT: that didn’t happen. We left, and I walked D to his car, the lump in my throat now threatening to choke me. The fact that he seemed to be genuinely enjoying my company with no issues or weirdness was also completely maddening and infuriating. I was sick of being the only mess in our weird exes-turned-friends twosome. D also made some Aspies comment that I was ‘making a face’ before we left that he couldn’t decipher. Uhhh yeah, that would be my ‘holding back tears with nothing but sheer willpower’ face, D. It’s a good one.
I was about one minute away from a public meltdown when we reached the car. “Would you like a ride?” D asked. It was still inexplicably freezing and raining.
I shook my head, unable to look at him. “Thanks, but I’m going to walk. It was good to see you.”
“It was great to see you. He tentatively and awkwardly leaned in to give me a hug. I let him hug me, then spun around and booked it down the street in the other direction, tears streaming down my face. Yup, I cried in public YET. AGAIN.
That’s because I have none. No dignity whatsoever.
Oh my God, you guys, sidenote: I don’t know why this just popped into my head, probably because L and I watched Pitch Perfect together recently, but I feel like the three of us need to do a Weird Al-style parody of Black Street’s ‘No Diggity’ and change the lyrics to ‘No Dignity’. Obviously the song will be about LSD being dumped one after the other, hat trick style: “We hate the way you dumped us– NO DIGNITY”. I’m dead serious, this may be the most brilliant, albeit depressing, idea I’ve ever had…
I walked home in the rain, a literal walking cliche, openly weeping like a crazy person, pushing past swarms of runners wearing medals, the whole city in a celebratory mood except for me. The second I got home I flopped into bed and cried even harder.
And then I cried some more. I called my mom and cried, then L called me and we took turns crying and praising each other for being so brave. There was so. much. crying.
I was totally baffled that I had this much emotion left in me. I’d had a nice weekend where I saw friends and went out and did things and everything was kosher. I figured I would probably be somewhat depressed/upset after seeing D, I just didn’t know it would level me for the rest of the day. I felt like an asshole for being so naive, for thinking I could just flip a switch and be over D but still magically have him as a constant in my life without any confusion or difficulty. HA. Hahaha. Oh me.
The thing is, though, when my mom suggested that maybe it was a mistake to see him, I knew that wasn’t right either (and I told her so. In an overly emotional semi-hysterical howler monkey voice).
It wasn’t a mistake. I’m totally glad I did it. If I could get in a time machine and go back to that Sunday morning, I would still see D (right after returning to my study abroad semester in London because duh, priorities). I think I needed this. I needed to see him, and see how it made me feel (answer: shitty) and let that reaction guide me to figure out what to do next. I honestly believe it was an important part of the getting over him/moving on process. Was it fun? Fuck no. Traumatic? Uh yeah, kind of. But it was also necessary, as most unpleasant things are (adulthood, you are the worst.)
After I calmed the hell down and thought about it, I knew what I had to do. I called D and asked him for space. My brain was just too confused by the texting and the hanging out post break up. Even though neither of us acted inappropriately and I knew intellectually that we were over, it was too hard to process that while D still had such a presence in my life. So we agreed not to meet again, at least for now, and we also agreed on a text embargo: no texting whatsoever for the rest of the month. It’s been hard, like have literally had to sit on my hands to fight the impulse to pick up my phone and text him hard, but I already feel so much better and in control.
I think this is also coming at a good time for the blog as well. I have a sneaking suspicion that my long, drawn out break up saga is getting a little old, because even I’m getting sick of hearing myself talk about it. I mean, how many times can you read about a grown ass woman crying in public before it becomes tedious? I think I’ve officially reached that limit. I’m not saying I’m ready to jump back into the dating pool just yet, but I am ready to tackle some topics that don’t include my ex. Until then, I’ll be working on the lyrics to ‘No Dignity’ with the other two members of my girl group.