This weekend, if we were catching up over a caffeinated beverage, mine would be my favorite Chai Frappuccino from Starbucks. You know, the one that is based on the one I used to get from that coffee shop in Abilene? The one where I had my only true Valentine’s date…
And yes, this close to that ridiculous holiday, my thoughts are leaning a bit toward both the nostalgic and the romantic… Though rarely have those things crossed.
This time last year, I was preparing for a date that wasn’t quite on the day of the holiday because the Bartender had to work on Valentine’s, and we had plans to have a non-Valentine’s date anyway: lots of smelly foods and a non-romantic movie (though it turned out to be quite romantic) and more lusty activities.
I was lying to myself about his intentions because I knew in some part of my brain that he was not really divorcing his wife, even though they lived apart. He may not have loved her, but he certainly didn’t love me either.
Then again, that should have been obvious since he was nothing more than a Tinderfella who needed the romance to fulfill a fantasy for himself. He wanted the “girlfriend” experience, and I needed to be wanted. It worked out well for a while, and it was something I desperately needed, but it was only a fantasy, and when it imploded, I got over him fairly quickly.
That whole, “I knew it wasn’t real in some part of my subconscious” thing helped a lot.
If we go back a year prior, I was again the other woman. Though he’d met me first, the other girl was the one who got the actual date, with a reservation, and the flowers, and the Instagram pics. I got the actual day, but it was definitely impromptu, and while I couldn’t afford at the time to get him a proper gift, I made a Ninja Turtle pillow… that he wasn’t the least bit impressed with.
He bought me cupcakes, a variety pack, from his cousin who was opening a bakery. There wasn’t even a card…
It was a few days later when someone who is mutual friends with me and the other girl told me she thought he was taken. At which point I started to snoop and found out, that yes, indeed he was seeing someone else. I was angry, but not as hurt as I probably could have been.
The part that always hurts is that it’s becoming less and less surprising that people don’t want to actually date me. Each time something goes wrong and I somehow find out I’m not the only one, it turns out that I’m always the other one, the extra, the mistress… and on more than one occasion, that was the case even though they started dating me first.
And each time it gets easier to move on because, well, I’m no longer surprised. I don’t think I was ever surprised. The men I have dated have consistently seen me as being there for only one purpose, and my feelings, or thoughts, who I am as a person has never really mattered.
The Boy was different, and that is why I clung to him for so long
Here was a person who supposedly liked me as a person. He changed his mind about what he wanted, because he is a very fickle soul, and though it bothers him to hear it, it is very true. Anyway, he changed his mind about what he wanted, and said that my behavior convinced him I was looking for something more, which I was, but I wouldn’t have acted in such a way if I hadn’t been without a doubt sure he wanted the same thing. And then he changed. And the more I tried to defend my actions, the more he told me to stop trying so hard, and to just be myself.
A hard thing to do when being yourself is what got you rejected in the first place.
That year, he canceled our Valentine’s Non-date.
Seems I have a lot of those. Hence one Valentine’s Day nearly 15 years ago is the only true Valentine’s date I’ve ever had. A time when someone loved me for me. After him was over 10 years of being ignored, or randomly hit on by strangers who were then turned off by my brain and how I communicate.
Until the Boy. Which, though for me it was very real, for him was never anything more than a trivial affair. It still hurts from time to time, but we’ve managed to become friends, albeit still only when convenient for him…
But now, I’m finally ready to move on.
Though I hadn’t quite realized what I was doing when I did it, I have been calling the newest guy in my life “the New Boy*…” I hope that’s not indicative of how it will end.
At the time, I simply didn’t have enough info about him to give him a proper nickname, and also there are some complications with our situation that have to remain completely out of this blog for a variety of reasons, so the few things I might normally use to create his nickname are kind of out.
But, in hindsight, I think perhaps the nickname is appropriate. I had called the Boy by that moniker because I thought him to be that One, the Boy that would be the last Boy, the one that I’d keep forever. In reality, he gave me a better idea of what I wanted, but he was never going to be that Boy.
some a large part of me would love for the New Boy to take that role, it’s not likely to happen. His situation is very complicated, though not already married complicated like the Bartender, or emotionally defunct complicated like the Pirate, or cheater other girl complicated like Superman, or…. Just complicated.
For reasons that are not mine to tell, it is unlikely that it can come to fruition, and be a real thing, although it certainly feels like it should.
We went to one of my favorite places last night, and had a good time. Just dinner. Nothing else. No hanky panky, although, if I’m honest, had he not been behind schedule on what sounds like an important work project, I would have been up for a little hanky panky… Or a lot of hanky panky!
But I digress.
It was an innocent, good time. And all of our times are always good. It’s still early yet, but there have been enough encounters that I feel confident in saying that.
Our conversations are always interesting. I don’t feel like I have to dumb myself down for him, though I have had to, on a couple of occasions, remind myself not to do so simply out of habit. He challenges me in conversation and I feel like I can learn from him because his set of life experiences are so very different from mine that I don’t think we would ever run out of things to talk about.
And he’s not intimidated by the fact that I’m an overly emotional creature. In fact, once while I was talking about something that was hard to discuss, and I started to cry, he told me not to hold it in because it would come out eventually.
I didn’t listen, but still, it was the thought that counts. I just didn’t feel we knew each other well enough yet for me to just fall apart and have an ugly cry in front of him.
But the fact that it didn’t bother him is kind of nice. Very nice, actually! In fact yesterday we were talking about one of my poems and it made me cry a little bit then, too, and he didn’t seem to mind. He apologized for asking an emotional question.
See, he asked a question that felt a little judgy. It wasn’t that he was judging me, it was that the way he was judging me felt very much like the way the Artist and Superman both made comments about my life not being stable that bothered me.
It’s frustrating because I know what I want, and I think I know who I am, but it seems like the last few years, my life has been rarely stable. I survived 4 years in a job where, because of the size of the district and the area, I was making about half of what I’m making now, and I was more successful at being “stable” than I am now, and I don’t understand it.
I also had much less of a social life, and was on the verge of a massive depression most of the time because I felt completely unloved. The difference now is that I feel unloved by men, but have more acquaintances (and some very real friends) than I’ve ever had in my life… well at least since high school.
On the one hand, I feel more loved than I’ve ever been, while on the other, I feel more alone than I’ve been in a long time. And there in the middle is this man who is intelligent, handsome, caring, tall, and seems to actually find me interesting both as a person and as a sexual being…
And I can’t have him.
But at least I think I’ve finally (really) moved on from the Boy.
So that’s something.
*The New Boy asked me if he read my blog if he’d find himself, and at the time, I didn’t think so… but here he is making a rather large appearance, so… who knows what happens now. Or if he’ll actually read it. Fingers crossed that he doesn’t.