Berkeley PhD and I had a great second date on Friday, with a night out in the “city.” We met first for dinner at a Thai/Malaysian restaurant that served up delicious dishes. I had a dish with chicken, eggplant, potatoes, tofu, snap peas and Malaysian yellow curry, topped with a half glass of Shiraz.
Afterward, we hit a bar nearby that had a DJ spinning a mix of 80s classics and today’s R&B/hip hop hits. The crowd was an interesting mix of people in their 40s trying to grab a drink and a chat before the place starting hopping and girls in their 20s with dresses that literally just barely covering their ass cheeks.
The most interesting character by far was a slightly stooped man in his late 60s or early 70s who was canvassing the place. Berkeley PhD said he was tempted to go talk to the guy to see if he had any sage advice on “picking up the ladies.” We sat at a table in the bar area people-watching for a bit before taking the long walk down to the bar with live blues music.
The night was fun, and I almost felt healthy again, young and vibrant. Berkeley reached out for me a bit, but I wasn’t expected it so I think I reacted oddly. Perhaps my body knew before my mind realized that as much as I liked and respected him and enjoyed his company, I didn’t feel any special zing. I was already putting him in the friend category.
With the exception of Berkeley PhD, OkCupid has been shooting blanks for quite a while. As I was taking more initiative with other areas of my life, I decided to try Match.com again. I’d had some success in the past. That’s where I met Mr. Etiquette. That’s what brought the V-Man and I together.
It’d be funny, sort of, if I wasn’t thrown for a loop. Yes, I officially told him adiós months ago. And last week, he finally called me back, after the gazillionth unanswered text message and email and several phone calls. He told me he wasn’t avoiding me specifically. He just didn’t want to be bother—er, disturbed by anyone the last couple months. He just wanted to be by himself, work on the house, etc.
He asked me why I didn’t call. Um, hello? Had he not noticed the dozens of attempts to try to make contact? Then he proceeded to have a typical monologue conversation, mostly about things I didn’t care about and didn’t bother to feign much interest because, screw it, I no longer had the obligation.
I was glad we had the talk. It just confirmed to me that I hadn’t meant much to him in quite some time. I knew romantically things had puttered out in February, but for some reason I thought a semblance of friendship after four and half years would endure. Now, no longer being uncertain about this, knowing there was no longer any connection between the two of us anymore brought an odd type closure, as imperfect as it was.
So it was a kind of a kick in the head when V-Man showed up as one of my matches today. Especially, I saw this in his profile:
I have been waiting patiently to find someone special to share my life with. I am hoping to find someone who loves to laugh and enjoy life. I’m the type of person who will do anything for my friends and family. I’m loyal, caring and when I’m in a relationship I give all of myself to that person. I am hoping to find a woman who will give me the same in return.
With whom had he been sharing his life during some of those years up leading up to this point? Someone to kill time with before someone special came along?
And who is the person saying he’d do anything for anyone? Yes, the V-Man begrudgingly, with a big piss-and-moan fuss, does things for his mom, but he really isn’t there for his friends, and I talk more to his best friend who moved away than he does.
He gives when he’s not too into his projects, and the surprises (a hike, a day trip somewhere) come once a year or so. I gave so much of my emotions, time, energy and everything else to this guy for years. He knew there was a time when I would have given him everything if he let me in further. This was the man I called Peter Pan because he said he was scared to have more, scared of the thought of progressing further—i.e., moving in, getting married, etc.
I quickly dashed off this email to him:
Wow, when I signed up for match again the other day, I thought in the back of mind, what if [V-Man] is on here. And look here you are. Just like I thought…it wasn’t that you don’t want a relationship, it’s that you don’t want one with me. 😉 Hope you find just who you are looking for on here.
Followed by the text:
Well irony of ironies, you popped up on my Daily 5 on Match. Why was it so hard to just say you wanted to move on? I gave you so many chances to months ago!
I just don’t get it. I have broken up with this man more times than I can count or remember. Each time he put the effort to ask me to stay. Or if it had been many months (in one case over a year), he would ask me to come back, saying things like “we would still be together, but you believe all these things that aren’t true about me, or half-truths.” This is the man who took me to NYC last December for my birthday. I thought he did these things for me, because I meant so much to him. Now I feel like I was wrong about him all the time.
When I talked to him on the phone today, I could hear the ooze of lies in his voice. “Someone’s having a joke with me,” he said, with a fake laugh. “They’ve put up profiles for other people before.” Okay, well, how did they get a copy of a photo I took on your personal camera of a place we went to early last year? Laughing again, he said, “Really, I didn’t put anything up there.”
He said he’d call me later because he was in the middle of something at work. I said, yeah, I’m sure you will. Inside, I thought, Don’t bother. Go take a flying fucking leap off a high cliff into shallow water.
But honestly I’m not that angry with him. I’m so angry with myself, for clinging in some way, shape or another to a connection with this man for long. My instincts told me so many times to just move on, that he wasn’t the man I really wanted in my life, nor was he even the man he usually acted around me. My family and friends knew it too and told me so.
Yet he had redeemed himself in my eyes when I got so sick. I won’t even take a guess as to why he did all the things he did. I just know I was a fool not to have kept moving forward when I broke up with him so long ago. One day I will have to learn to forgive myself for such a foolish mistake.