Close encounters of the ex kind

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.

Willshocked

Uhhhh, actually… I saw him on purpose.

NPH speechless

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.

ron burgundy

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…

audrey

(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.

sad

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.

dignity
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…
Y0u’re welcome for brightening up this daytime soap-level cheap drama with some sweet vocal stylings. Didn’t I warn you that I love a Capella? Oh, you thought that was a joke?
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.
cameron-crying-modern-family
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.
feel too much
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. 

Newly single…and liking it?

Before we get to my post, just a quick blog announcement: since we started Stupid Cupid over a year ago, we’ve always referred to our dates by their first initial. This was easy and effective enough in the beginning, but it’s come to our attention that this practice is now confusing as shit. It’s simple math, really: there are a finite number of letters in the alphabet, and apparently an infinite number of douchey single guys. The longer we date, the more repeats we’re going to have. We can imagine what a pain it must be for you guys to keep everyone straight while reading about our shenanigans. I mean, I recently dated a D, and then co-blogger D dated a D, and then both of those Ds dumped us. It’s like a 21st century Abbott and Costello routine. So, to quote my co-blogger:

D: TOO MANY D’S UP IN HERE – WE’RE SWITCHING TO NICKNAMES

Damn straight we are. From this point forward, all new dudes we go out with will receive a nickname, probably based on a noticeable characteristic or a funny anecdote, but I make no promises as to the consistency (or, frankly, the fairness) of our naming practices. To avoid further confusion, dudes we’ve already written about will still be referred to by their initials; as you’ll see below, D who dumped me is still D (you narrowly missed receiving a nickname containing the words ‘nerd’ and ‘stalker’, sir. You’re welcome.)

We hope this will make things less confusing for you guys, and we’re pretty sure this nickname thing will be an enjoyable practice for us as well. Spoiler alert: the first bachelor to have a nickname bestowed upon him is a guy co-blogger D went out with last weekend, and his nickname involves Japanese food. I assure you, the story behind the name is delightful.

**End blog announcement**

The dust is settling on my break up with D two weeks ago. I’m still processing things, but that initial sting of rejection (which was really more like a punch in the gut) has faded into something more like a dull ache. On a whole, I feel better, but that also changes day by day (and even hour by hour). Last week I was feeling really good about the whole thing; almost obnoxiously so. People were like, wow… you seem to be doing great! And I was all…

everything is awesome

Yes, I saw the Lego movie. I told you, I dated a nerd for months.

Anyway, last week everything was awesome, because the weather was gorgeous and I had a ton of fun plans to distract me. This week, it’s been torrential down-pouring, and there’s essentially a tumbleweed rolling across my Google calendar, so I’m a little closer to this than I’m entirely comfortable admitting:

500 days jack500 days getaroom

I miss D, even though we’ve been talking. I promise you, “talking” is not a euphemism for anything. We’re genuinely trying to figure out this friends thing, which has been really nice in some ways but also confusing as hell, because I think neither one of us knows exactly how to act towards one another now. The boundaries are different, and the dynamics are different, and it’s…fucking weird. When we agreed to try to remain friends, I told him I reserved the right to change my mind at any point if I started to feel differently, and I’m still playing by those rules. If I wake up tomorrow and am all:

ron burgundy

then we’ll call it a day. PS you might be interested to know the results of our little poll: 36% of you keep in touch with your ex(es). Okay, well that makes me feel a little less crazy for trying this. Then again, 33% of you answered “hell no”, so there’s that. Anyway, the experiment continues, and I will keep you all posted.

D also informed me last week that he read and loved both of my posts, which made me cringe ever so slightly. It’s one thing to know that he’s going to read them, and it’s another to receive actual confirmation that he did. After I published part 2 of my post, this fun little exchange occurred:

D fazed

Uhhhh apparently it’s 2003, because…

http://corporateplantationworker.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/punkd.jpg

Is that the most Aspies thing you’ve ever seen in your life? WHO DOES THAT? I reminded D that I had been really understanding and gracious about the whole being dumped thing, but that that goodwill only goes so far. Translation: do not poke the bear. The dumped bear.

Even though my mood this week has been what some might call “unique”, I have had some time to get used to being single again. And while in some ways it sucks a big huge fat one and I hate the world, in others it actually doesn’t feel bad. It even has its moments of being (dare I say this on a blog where we complain about being single 24-7?) sort of nice. One thing I’ve learned about being in a relationship, even a good one, is that you invest a lot of time and emotional energy into another person and the relationship as a whole. This is/was wonderful in many ways, and in a great relationship what you get back in return of course makes all that effort more than worth it (ugh low point, I just mentioned ROI on our dating blog. Please accept my sincerest apologies). But this particular relationship wasn’t working towards the end, and in hindsight, I really did feel kind of drained, and also like I was neglecting myself a little bit. I’m not saying that D was needy or demanding or that this was his fault, because clearly it takes two to tango. I’m saying there’s a little bit of an exhale happening that I’m actually kind of enjoying.

So, with that in mind, I’m making a concerted effort to look on the bright side/think positively/not be a perpetual Debbie Downer about this break up. Even as I typed that last sentence, I secretly thought…

the fuck does that mean

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that positivity of any kind is a fairly foreign concept  around these parts. Be that as it may, I’ve decided to give it a try, because what the hell? Here’s how I’m looking at it: having more free time and freed up energy is an awesome thing. I have more time to do shit just for me, figure out what I want next in my life, chat up my friends more, maybe find a fun new hobby, write, and just…chill. I hope this doesn’t come off as some smug Eat, Pray, Love bullshit, because God I hated that book…

mindy eat pray love

Basically I’m picturing the next weeks/months of my life as a breezy dream where this happens:

ina garten

Why yes, Ina, I’d love to.

So… besides not having a house in the Hamptons, here’s the issue. You may recall that I stayed on Okcupid the whole time I was with D for blogging purposes. I changed my status from single to ‘seeing someone’ (which of course did nothing but attract cheating losers instead of single losers) but wasn’t talking to anyone. After D and I broke up, I changed my status back to single, because, you know, accurate. I expected to get a slew of visitors and an underwhelming flurry of one word or unintelligible messages from random douchebags, which don’t worry, I did. It didn’t occur to me for one second that I might actually get a good message, because, I mean, have you been reading this blog? Good messages are like unicorns: they’re rare, they’re mythical, and they appear to only exists in books, movies and our imagination. 

You know where this is going, right? I got a good message. Actually, a great one. I clicked on the guy’s profile, half praying for it to be awful or illegible or insane. But of course, nope. At first glance, this looked to be someone I would be thrilled to go out with: smart, funny, interesting, and cute. You know, basically…

unicorns

God. Damn. It.

In my almost two year career as a part time online dater (and full time pessimist), I’m pretty sure I can count ON ONE HAND the number of times I’ve gotten a really good message from someone with a nice, normal profile who was also taller than me and appeared to be cute. Dismayed, I sought L’s sage advice. We decided that my options were:

  1. Ignore the message completely
  2. Write back explaining that I’d just gotten out of a five month relaysh and am not ready to date yet
  3. Write back normally and see what happens

Option 1 was vetoed immediately, because hi, do I have to make that stupid unicorn analogy again? I’ve seen the dating pool, and let me tell you, shit is rough. I wasn’t about to ignore something promising just because of bad timing.

Option 2 seemed to be the most up front, but something about laying my sad breakup story, even a super abridged version, on a total stranger screamed bad idea/wild over share. Also, one message from someone is absolutely no guarantee that you’ll receive a second, and I decided if I bore my heart to this dude and he didn’t respond, I might ACTUALLY kill myself. Mama can only take so much rejection. Thus, Option 2 was vetoed.

Which left… write back normally and see what happens. I did, and I got a response, another great one. At that point, it was actually surprisingly tempting to just say fuck it, keep a back and forth going and see what it led to. I mean, flirting is fun/boys are cute/distractions are tempting/validation is intoxicating, particularly after you’ve been rejected.

Don’t worry, I quickly came to my senses.

cher

I knew, deep down, that if I pursued this dude or frankly any dude right now, it would be 1. way wayyyy too soon and 2. for all the wrong reasons, namely a distraction from the D stuff. I’m in no way ready to get involved with someone new, and also, the last two people I’ve been involved with had both recently gotten out of super serious relationships, and that turned out to be the source of most of our problems. I mean hello, I got dumped in part because D still had feelings for his ex, so I have firsthand experience with people who jumped back into the game too early, and it’s not something I want to perpetuate. So…

I sent the cute guy another message, laying it all out there, and asking if I could contact him when I was ready to date again. To which he said yes. I don’t know when that will be, exactly, but for now I’ve got plenty of DVR and dreams of channeling The Barefoot Contessa to keep me occupied.